The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu has lashed out at mining company, AngloGold Ashanti, describing a gathering it organized on local content participation as a ‘propaganda’.
Mr. Amewu, who sounded angry and betrayed by AngloGold Ashanti, recounted how the mining company had gone ahead to shortlist two foreign companies for a service government was engaging it to cede to Ghanaians.
Appearing late at the gathering which was held in Accra, Mr. Amewu stated that even though government is not opposed to foreign companies, the Nana Addo administration will not look on unconcerned as Ghanaians are disadvantaged in the mining industry.
“We had begun a discussion with AngloGold Ashanti for the past one year. In the middle of the discussion when the Ministry had no idea of who becomes the contractor, AngloGold singularly advertised and shortlisted two foreign contractors. And you are gathered here waiting to get a contract? Two foreign contractors have already been shortlisted and the Ministry got this information yesterday,” he told the contractors gathered at the hall.
Sounding a word of caution to management of AngloGold Ashanti, Mr. Amewu maintained that the Nana Addo government wants to depart from the practice in the mining sector that have left Ghanaians poor for over a century.
“We have mined resources for over 100 years in this country. There is no single indicator to show that Ghanaians have benefited from their resources. I have a feeling that this gathering is a mere propaganda gathering to send a signal that AngloGold will be doing it differently,” he said.
He disclosed that, President Akufo-Addo has already informed the management of AngloGold Ashanti that government will protect the interest of Ghanaians to enable them benefit from the mineral resource.
He pointed out that government will not just engage in talking with mining firms, but will take actions that will reverse the trend in which huge contracts are given to foreign companies.
“There is one way talking, and there is another way doing the talking. I want to believe that this is not a propaganda gathering,” he said adding that mining companies must begin to respect the position of government in protecting Ghanaian interest.
The Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti, Eric Asubonteng who was at the gathering refused to react to the minister’s statement.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana