Politics

GYM Wades Into Sinohydro Deal, Questions Government

The assertion that former President Mahama gave out the Nyinahin Bauxite concession to his brother, Ibrahim Mahama has been described as false.

Founder and Leader of Ghana Youth Movement (GYM), Solomon Kwabena Owusu, has also, debunked comments by ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) General Secretary, John Boadu that, Ibrahim Mahama was given out 80% of the whole bauxite concession, indicating, it was even less than 40%.

Speaking exclusively to Bryt FM's Kwabena Nyarko Abronoma, Mr. Solomon Owusu, expressed regret at the action of the current Government to reclaim the concession and award it to a Chinese company, after a successful exploration by Engineers and Planners.

"From 1922 to 2013, successive governments have awarded an exploration contract to 10 different companies but unfortunately, they all failed until 2013 when Ibrahim Mahama hired competent geologists to successfully discover the Nyinahin bauxite. The first company to do exploration was Gold Coast Geological, from 1922-1927 and the last company was Vimetco Ghana Bauxite in 2013, after which Ibrahim Mahama took over.

But unfortunately, the Government has been able to take away the concession from a competent Ghanaian and given it to a Chinese company" he emphasized.

Mr. Owusu added, Ibrahim Mahama could have mined after been granted the permit in 2013 if indeed his brother, President Mahama wanted to give out the concession to Engineers and Planners, just because he is a relative.

"Mr. Ibrahim Mahama followed about 45 steps to ensure he goes through all the necessary procedures before mining so I don't think there is any aorta of truth in the allegations" he stressed.

Meanwhile, Mr. Solomon Owusu, a mining engineer in the United States, is also questioning the way the Government is using the Sino Hydro deal money as roads in mining areas are not captured, rather nonmining areas are benefiting, a situation he describes as unfair to people in mining communities.

He disclosed the immense financial contributions from the mining sector to the government and therefore bemoaned why none of the poor road networks in the major mining towns in the Ashanti, Bono/Bono East/Ahafo, Eastern and Western Regions were ignored in the 2020 budget.

According to him, whereas the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta, recognized that road infrastructure remains critical to economic development, it was surprising that no single road in any of the mining communities was considered with the Sinohydro money, except the Prestea inner-city roads, which was already under construction in 2016 through the Cocoa Road project.

 Additionally, Mr. Solomon Owusu disclosed that the mining sector in Ghana contributed GHS 2.36 billion and GHS 2.16 billion in 2018 and 2017 respectively from the corporate taxes and royalties paid to the government. Again, he mentioned that the employee taxes in 2018 and 2017 were GHS 457 million and GHS 487 million, according to records from Ghana Revenue Authority. He complained about why the government generated such amount from the mining sector but failed to consider roads in the mining towns such as Tarkwa, Prestea, Dunkwa-Ayanfuri, Obuasi, Manso Nkwanta and Kenyasi.

Again, he expressed worry about how this government has banned Ghanaians from mining but allowed the Chinese nationals to operate illegal mining in the country. He was, however, surprised that approximately 2 million ounces of small-scale mining gold worth over USD 2 billion were exported from Ghana during the ban in 2018.

Source: Kwabena Nyarko Abronoma/Joydaddymultmedia.com

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