Research Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Ghana, Dr John Kwakye, has revealed that Ghana’s natural resources including gold, oil, gas bauxite, manganese, and iron ore are worth over $12 trillion.
Speaking at a press conference focused on the 2020 budget on Tuesday, Dr Kwakye said should the resources be efficiently exploited, it will boost national development.
“US$12 trillion is underground and we are sitting on it. Whilst we are very poor above ground,” he stated.
The IEA analyses budgets presented to Parliament annually to promote public discourse on national policy issues.
The Research Director was further saddened by concession agreements signed by government which he said, favoured foreign companies more than the country.
He described those deals as “colonial type of contracts”.
“When we could have gone in for product sharing or serving contracts that do not cede mining rights to the foreign companies and keep those rights to ourselves,” he said.
Dr Kwakye also indicated that Ghana uses 46% of its revenue to pay debt interest leaving it with 54% of revenue which he said can do little in financing development projects.
He also described the 2020 budget as politically sensitive which dictates caution and may not lead to optimal socio-economic outcomes that require more ambition to achieve.
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