The University Teachers Association of Ghana, University of Ghana Branch (UTAG-UG), is calling on Parliament to rigorously scrutinize the lithium deal between Ghana and Barari DV Ghana Limited when it is laid before the House for ratification.
Civil society organizations and other bodies have been calling on the government to take a second look at the deal.
The teacher union, in a statement, accused the government of disregarding the need to conduct a scoping study that is expected to be undertaken to evaluate the economic benefits of the downstream conversion of the lithium concentrate in Ghana and appeared to have rushed to reach a deal with Barari DV.
“A scoping study is expected to be undertaken to evaluate the economic benefits of the downstream conversion of the concentrate in Ghana, predicated on which a chemical plant is expected to be established by the company for refinery of the concentrate in Ghana.”
“It also appears that the deal was rushed and signed without proper due diligence and consultations and sensitization of the local community and Ghanaians as a whole. Hence, there are suspicions, local agitations, and civil society criticism of the deal as being inimical to the development of the country.”
The union also called on the government to slow down mining processes in the country and engage stakeholders before any mining lease or agreement is reached.
“We call on the government to slow down the pace of the mining process and commence another round of sincere and detailed nationwide public consultations with experts, civil society, chiefs, people and community leaders, with a view to ensuring that Ghana benefits from her lithium.
“We add our voice in calling on Parliament (as representatives of the good people of Ghana) to assert its role in rigorously scrutinizing whatever deal is laid before it, in the interest of Ghana.”