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09.08.2019 General News

Tarkwa-Nsuaem NDC calls on Government to reverse decision to close down GMCL

Tarkwa-Nsuaem NDC calls on Government to reverse decision to close down GMCL
AUG 9, 2019 GENERAL NEWS

The leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Tarkwa-Nsuaem of the Western Region has called on Government to reverse its decision of shutting down Ghana Manganese Company Ltd (GMCL which operates in the area.

Government through the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Kwaku Asomah Cheremeh, ordered the Company to shut down operations due to alleged nonpayment of taxes and price manipulation between 2010 to 2017.

The company has been under investigation since February 2019 after preliminary checks of its finances allegedly revealed several infractions.

“GMCL has not shown strong commitment to value addition in particular. There are also defaults by the company in the payment of annual minerals rights fees in excess of 4 million dollars. These and several infractions give me no option as the sector Minister than to close down the operations of GMCL.”

“The company is therefore instructed to stop all mining exploration and export of minerals effective 6th August 2019. The Ministry together with the Minerals Commission and other relevant stakeholders will immediately commence discussions with Ghana Manganese to resolve this and other outstanding issues in the course of the shutdown,” the Minister said at a press conference held on Tuesday.

But in a statement issued and signed by the Party's Deputy Communications Officer, Daniel Nana Kobina Nketsiah, and copied to the media, said the decision taken by the Akufo-Addo Government was "very in appropriate".

"Whilst we in the NDC support any effort by government to collect taxes and monies due to the state, we are also of the view that, the government's approach is very in appropriate", the statement emphasized.

The statement indicated that "Already, the government's decision to close down the erstwhile Menzgold, the defunct gold dealership company, and the government's initial decision to close

down small scale mining activities in the country have already brought an untold

hardship to bear on the economy of Tarkwa-Nsuaem Constituency and its environs".

The statement opined that "We are also at a lost as to why the Ghana Revenue Authority, the state institution mandated by law to administer taxes is loud silent on the matter against the backdrop of the the fact that GRA in 2018 awarded GMCL for tax compliance".

The statement disclosed that "We also acknowledge government's effort to impress upon the company to improve upon its corporate social responsibilities to its catchment areas, but it's also very imperative that the government acknowledges and account for the US$10 million dollars support provided by the company to the Ghana Railway company and the sector ministry in charge as a way of improving the railway sector development which would have eventually led to the transportation of the manganese ore to the Takoradi harbour via Rail".

The statement, therefore, has called on the Government to rescind its decision and engage the company in a dialogue to save over 2,000 direct and indirect jobs.

"We are therefore by this statement calling on the Government of Ghana to reverse its decision to close down GMCL, and rather open up dialogue, thus saving over 2000 direct and indirect jobs and also the local economy of the Tarkwa-nsueam Constituency", the statement said.

The statement however, chided "We also calls on the NPP Government to stop its unbridled appetite for closure of

businesses and rather concentrate on how to get as many Ghanains as possible employed in line with the NPP's 2016 manifesto pledge".

Below is the full statement

BUREAU OF COMMUNICATION

NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (TARKWA~NSUAEM CONSTITUENCY)

The National Democratic Congress (NDC), in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Constituency in the Western Region of the Republic of Ghana, has taken note of closure of the Ghana Manganese Company Ltd by Government through the Minister of Lands and Natural

Resources in a press conference held on Monday, 5th of August, 2019.

According to the Minister, the decision to close down the mine is as a result of

Ghana Manganese Company Ltd (GMCL) owing the Government of Ghana by way of Taxes, price manipulation and other infractions, including infrastructural defects due to the activities of GMCL.

Whilst we in the NDC support any effort by government to collect taxes and monies due to the state, we are also of the view that, the government's approach is very in appropriate.

Already, the government's decision to close down the erstwhile Menzgold, the

defunct gold dealership company, and the government's initial decision to close

down small scale mining activities in the country have already brought an untold

hardship to bear on the economy of Tarkwa-Nsuaem Constituency and its environs.

We also acknowledge government's effort to impress upon the company to improve upon its corporate social responsibilities to its catchment areas, but it's also very imperative that the government acknowledges and account for the US$10 million dollars support provided by the company to the Ghana Railway company and the sector ministry in charge as a way of improving the railway sector development which would have eventually led to the transportation of the manganese ore to the Takoradi harbour via Rail.

The government in our view, should have been a little sensitive to the plights of the

workers in its decision making.

Government wouldn't have lost anything substantially by engaging the company in an attempt to right the alleged wrongs whilst operations continue.

Most especially, when the GMCL has discounted almost all the allegations leveled against it by the government.

We are also at a lost as to why the Ghana Revenue Authority, the state institution mandated by law to administer taxes is loud silent on the matter against the backdrop of the the fact that GRA in 2018 awarded GMCL for tax compliance.

We hope that this is not one of the NPP government's usual plots to have its cronies have shares in GMCL as in the case of PDS.

We are therefore by this statement calling on the Government of Ghana to reverse its decision to close down GMCL, and rather open up dialogue, thus saving over 2000 direct and indirect jobs and also the local economy of the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Constituency.

We also calls on the NPP Government to stop its unbridled appetite for closure of

businesses and rather concentrate on how to get as many Ghanains as possible employed in line with the NPP's 2016 manifesto pledge.

We can recount the closure of small scale mining, radio stations, banks, micro finance companies and now a large scale mining company by this government since its assumption of office on 7th January, 2017.

Thank you!

Signed!

Daniel Nana Kobina Nketsiah

Deputy Communications Officer, TNC

Source: Daniel Kaku

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