April 24, 2024

The clergy in Ghana has out rightly rejected the recent agreement reached by the government of Ghana for the exploration of the country’s Lithium mineral resources.

The government signed a 15-year lease agreement with lithium mining company Barari DV Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of Atlantic Lithium Limited, to commence the construction and mining of lithium at Ewoyaa in the Mfantseman Municipality of the Central Region.

The deal includes a 10% royalty and 13% free carried interest by the state, surpassing the existing 5% and 10%, respectively, for other mining agreements.

Speaking at a stakeholder engagement by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), on the deal, on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, representatives of the Christian Council of Ghana and the Office of the National Chief Imam of Ghana, came to an agreement that the government’s deal with Barari DV was not in the interest of the country.

Some of the members of the Christian Council said that the Lithium resources of the country should be left in the ground if the government can not get a deal that would be in the interest of Ghanaians.

The Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana, Most Rev. Dr Paul Kwabena Boafo, said that Ghanaians should not sit down and allow this to happen.

“We cannot as a nation sit down and let this also go down the drain and let people take it away for us to suffer, for our people to suffer.

“I think that what we ought to do is take this agreement, look at it critically, come out with what we would need… 100% should be on the table, that this is what Ghanaians need. It should ensure to the benefit of Ghanaians,” he said.

Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, the spokesperson for Ghana’s National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, said that all stakeholders in the country should have been engaged before the deal was signed.

He called for the contract to be abrogated for more consultation.

“The mineral resources of our country do not belong to us alone. It belongs to the children unborn. Those who negotiate it must do it in our interest.

“Let us stop the contract, go into it and ensure that it is done in a manner that benefits Ghana,” he added.

A member of the Council of State, Sam Okudzeto, called on the Parliament of Ghana to use its powers to ensure that the contract agreement is not implemented.

Background

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, signed the first-ever lease for the exploitation of lithium in the country on October 19, this year.

This followed Cabinet’s approval of the Green Minerals Policy, which makes it mandatory for prospective holders of leases for lithium and other green minerals to establish a refinery for processing the resource.

Since the granting of the lithium mining lease, some CSOs, individuals and institutions have criticised the deal, describing it as bad for the country.

There have also been calls to grant mining leases through a tender process.

Mr Jinapor, however, defended the government’s position at a state-organised press conference last Thursday.

He was supported by the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Martin Ayisi, and that of the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF), Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng.

Watch their remarks in the video below:

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