The Finance minister-designate has proposed the implementation of a new policy that will help address the smuggling of gold from the country.
Speaking during his vetting, Friday, Ken Ofori-Atta indicated that the proposed policy is part of government’s effort to stop illicit financial flows in the mining sector.
Mr Ofori-Atta believes introducing this new policy is necessary, as this practice has gone on for a number of years, and even though undercover agents have been used in the past to try and stop it, a new policy would have to be implemented to ensure that Ghana realizes the value it deserves.
“The issue of illicit financial flows is almost $50-70 billion for Africa and therefore, in our view, it might be easily $4-5 billion in all sorts of ways for Ghana, that we need to put things into place to do that.
“So first you have the small gold mining area in which we need to tighten exactly how the gold is procured and taken out.
“If you look at the example of COCOBOD structure, we should be looking at something similar to the small scale mining industry so that we fund our capacity to be able to buy all the gold and therefore be responsible for export to cut out [Illegal export.]
“So maybe the Cocoa Marketing Board model may be an interesting one to pursue to cut out that”.
For the bigger gold mining companies, he indicated that ensuring that the “assaying is witnessed” to ascertain the exact purity exported, it would also ensure that those loopholes are plugged.
According to him, once the new policy is in effect, it will regulate how gold is procured and taken out of the country.
The suggestion of this new policy comes on the back of JoyNews’ investigations which uncovered how a gold smuggling syndicate illegally exports gold through the country’s land, airports and seaports.
This smuggling is said to be aided by security operatives, politically connected individuals and shipping agents.
In 2018, President Akufo-Addo revealed how $5 billion was unaccounted for in gold exports from Ghana to the United Arab Emirates.
However, Mr Ofori Atta, in his submission intimated that a well-laid structure will help the country account for its gold export.
According to him, the policy will mandate mining companies to assay their extracts and weighing the gold and test for its purity.
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