Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori-Atta is proposing a shift from the liberalized system that currently characterizes the buying and export of gold in the country, to the use of the COCOBOD model, which will see one body buying and exporting gold from Ghana.
Day two of the highly anticipated vetting of Finance Minister-designate Ken Ofori-Atta which came off on Friday, March 26, revisited issues surrounding the Agyapa Royalties Deal, and also touched on the delayed payment of customers of defunct savings and loans companies, issues bordering on conflict of interest pertaining to companies he’s related to, as well as issues of illicit financial flows among others.
On the latter Mr. Ofori-Atta while bemoaning the illegal export of gold out of Ghana, a practice which leads to losses running into billions of dollars to government, suggested the implementation of new policies for both small scale and large scale mining to reverse the trend of losses when it comes to gold.
“So we have to tighten the processes surrounding how the gold is procured and exported first of all for the small scale mining space. If you look at for example COCOBOD’s structure, should we be considering that model to run the small scale industry, so that we fund our capacity to be able to buy all the gold and therefore be responsible for export?”
“Then on the bigger gold mining companies, we need to put systems in place to ensure that the assaying is witnessed to verify the quality of gold that is produced and exported.”
The General Secretary of the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Miners (GNASSM), Godwin Armah on his part, suggested a collaboration between the Precious Minerals Marketing Company and private gold buyers.
“There are currently so many factors that cause the issue of smuggling of gold from the country, so looking at one body buying I don’t think it may be the key. Rather we can have the PMMC being there as it is now and then the various licensed exporters will work with PMMC or send all their products to PMMC to do the shipment.”