MINISTER FOR Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, is advocating a policy and legislative framework to determine resource nationalism and their exploitation for development.
According to him, a statutory framework on natural resources, known to both investors and states, ensures that investors who come into Africa will be aware of the fiscal framework of countries.
He pointed out that if the regulatory framework is well known, the rules do not get changed in the middle of an agreement leading to conflict.
Speaking Tuesday at a Mining Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, on the theme, “Resource Nationalism Challenge: How has the Global Pandemic Shaped Sovereign State Views on Resource Nationalism and Collaboration,” Mr. Jinapor argued that resource nationalism is at the heart of the mining industry, adding that how this is dealt with is very significant.
He pointed out that resource nationalism has not yet been given a very definitive definition by academics and mining experts even though at the policy making level it is considered in two ways.
According to him, the consideration of outright exploration, seizures and state control interventions has become quite unfashionable and given way to new reasoning.
“The sophisticated tools of local content, indigenisation, tweaking of already established contracts and agreements and breach of contracts, and so on, which is also another mechanism for resource nationalism, has become common.
“Being able to attract the needed capital investment and technology and how to exploit these resource for the benefit of the citizens of the state is the biggest issue we have to deal with,” he stated.
Citing the example of Ghana, the minister averred that the framework for the mining sector is certain and cast out clearly, and therefore if an investor wants to take a decision to invest in Ghana, they can be certain they are investing in a democratic state where the rule of law prevails and the sanctity of contract is the norm.
“And so, if we get into negotiations and we cast the terms of our negotiation in a contract, you can be rest assured that it will be respected,” he added.
He disclosed that President Akufo-Addo has rolled out a programme and a vision that will result in a major paradigm shift in how the Ghanaian mining industry is regulated and operated, which is the insistence on value addition.
This programme, he said, is determined to ensure that value is added to minerals mined in Ghana such as gold, from exploration, prospecting and mining to refinery, to the downstream industries.
“All of these are matters that we’re planning. So is it for iron, steel and bauxite. By an Act of Parliament, we are insisting that within five years after the promulgation of the law, no raw bauxite can be exported out of Ghana.
“Value addition will ensure that we retain a lot of the value in Ghana as well as put in place special institutional arrangements such as the Mineral Development Fund where we are dedicating 20% of our royalties for development in mining communities in Ghana, and the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) where we are seeking to collateralise and leverage royalties for national development, and in mining communities bring about capital to indigenise the mining community in our country,” he said.