Monetize Our Mineral Royalties – Experts

Yaw Baah

Some experts at public forum on monetization of minerals royalties held yesterday concluded that Ghana should boldly monetize its minerals incomes if it intends to make the most benefits from the sector.

Speakers at the Forum including Hene Aku Kwapong (Founder of the Songhai Group) Kwabena Ata Nuamah Mensah (Resource Governance Professional) and Carl Odame- Gyenti (Banking and Finance Professional) argued that countries like South Africa and Saudi Arabia which are developing faster have ensured the monetization of their resource incomes.

The forum organized by the Minerals Incomes Investment Fund (MIIF) provided a platform for the banking experts, minerals governance experts, academics and students to explore the concept and best practices of monetizing of minerals royalties.

Dr. Odame-Gyenti called for a review of all existing gold mining agreements to enable the country maximise the benefits of monetising its mineral royalties.

According to him, a restructuring of the gold mining activities would place the country on a better position to take advantage of the huge cash flow within the gold royalty space.

“A lot is at stake for this country in our gold royalties management and we need to discuss and find a best fit solution to enable us take advantage of huge  revenues in that space,” he said.

Dr Odame-Gyenti said even though gold royalty business was not new in the world it was a new area for Ghana and in venturing into it would require that all the necessary conditions were satisfied.

“The mineral royalties business is about $72billion globally but it is a whole new area for us and there is the need  to take advantage of this and invest  in there,” he said.

Dr Odame-Gyenti said there were about 23 gold mining companies in the country, unfortunately, all of them were owned by foreigners, stressing that the only way to change the situation was through government investing in the sector and monetising the mineral royalties is the only way government can raise the needed investment.

Founder of the Songhai Group, Hene Aku Kwapong, said the time had come for Ghana to move away from rent collection and become a real player in the mineral extractive industry.

He said moving away from rent collection would require that that, the country looked at the option of monetising it mineral royalties.

However, he noted that, for the country to derive the full benefits, there must be a plan that establishes a baseline to identify the gap between where the country was now and where it desired to be.

The Chief Executive Officer of the MIIF, Yaw Baah pledged that,  the fund would incorporate all the concerns expressed to ensure that the best deal was secured for the country.

He said it was important for Ghanaians to appreciate the fact that monetising the country’s mineral royalties was novel and with all novelties, this one to would come with its attendant misconceptions.