The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has stated that the lithium deal between the Government of Ghana and Barari DV is not in the best interest of Ghana and that the Parliament of Ghana must not ratify the deal until pressing concerns with the deal are addressed.
In a press statement dated December 13, 2023, and signed by the party’s National Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), debunked claims by the Government and the Minerals Income and Investment Fund (MIIF) that the deal is a good deal for the country.
“After a meticulous scrutiny of the terms of the Mining Lease Agreement, the NDC has come to the conclusion that the Ghana-Barari Lithium agreement is not in the best interest of Ghana,” the party declared.
Buttressing its position, the party explained that:
“…It is an indisputable fact that mining hasn’t benefited us as a nation over the years. Hence, there is a need for an urgent review of the country’s existing mining laws and policies, particularly in relation to green minerals…
The NDC holds the view, that the green minerals of the country should not be exploited based on the existing mining laws and policies, which are predominantly tailored for gold mining and have not benefited the nation over the years.
We are of the firm opinion, that it is about time the existing colonial model of mining lease concession agreements, was reviewed. New models for the exploitation of our mineral resources such as Joint Ventures and Service Agreements, that provide for equitable benefit sharing, enhanced local participation and value addition, should be considered as part of the review of the laws and policies governing our extractive sector.”
The party argued that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government led by President Akufo-Addo should have done a better job with engaging stakeholders before signing the deal.
“It is for these reasons, that the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia/NPP government should have extensively engaged all affected local communities, as well as key stakeholders including CSOs in the extractive sector, before executing the Barari-Lithium agreement. Sadly, there has been very little engagement by the government with the affected local communities and key stakeholders in the processes leading to the execution of the controversial lithium deal. The NDC believes that all stakeholders in the extractive sector must have a say in the kind of law and model, under which our lithium and other green minerals should be exploited for the maximum benefit of the State,” the statement added.
Ghana has signed a deal with Barari DV Ghana Limited for the exploitation of lithium in Ewoyaa in the Mfantseman Municipality of the Central Region. Even though the Government has touted the deal as a good deal for the country, some civil society organizations and individuals have flagged it as a bad deal, insisting that a better deal could have been had.