Godwin Edudzi Tameklo, the Head of the Leal Affairs of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has said that the collective concern by some individuals against the lithium agreement the government has entered with Barari DV Ghana Limited is to ensure that Ghana secures maximum benefits from the ongoing deal.
According to him, foreign countries have been mining in the country for a long time and very often, Ghana gets little from revenues or royalties.
Persons such as the former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo; Sam Okudzeto and the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), have criticised the current deal Ghana has with Barari DV to mine lithium ore in Ewoyaa in the Central Region.
Collectively, these individuals have argued that the agreed 10% royalties and another 9% benefits that Ghana stands to gain is not enough.
To Edudzi Tameklo, these influential voices are united in their pursuit to enhance Ghana’s position as a primary beneficiary in the exploitation of the newly-discovered lithium resources.
“Of all the people I have heard from the former Chief Justice, Sophia Akuffo, the Council State Member, Sam Okudzeto, the Office of the National Chief Imam, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Dr John Kwakye and the many others who have intervene in this conversation, all they are asking for is what can we do so that Ghana can become a greater beneficiary in this mineral that we have found,” he said.
Addressing the current legal framework that accommodates the lithium agreement, Tameklo noted that there is room for improvement.
He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo must consider amending the Minerals and Mining Act and reviewing the existing legal regime to ensure that Ghana’s interests are better protected.
“You see, in 2019, when the president wanted to enhance the punishment for engaging in illegal mining activities, he went before parliament and got the Minerals and Mining Act 2006 (Act 703) amended to enhance the punishment if you were engaged in galamsey mining activities.
“So, to those who say that the current legal regime allows for this agreement and that this agreement taken within legal regime is the best, my response to this is that it can be better and because it can be better, if Akufo-Addo was minded, he could have amended the Minerals and Mining Act, review the existing legal regime and say that, we have experimented Diamond in Akwatea but the town is nowhere near when it comes to development.
“Go to the other mining towns and see after over hundred years of mining in those areas, what do we have to show for?” he asked.
Godwin Edudzi was speaking in an interview on Metro TV, on Thursday, December 14, 2023, and monitored by GhanaWeb, when he made these comments.