The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mines, Hon. George Mireku Duker has commissioned a nine-member committee to fight against smugglers of Gold in the country.
He commissioned this committee on behalf of the Sector Minister, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, under the auspices of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company ( PMMC), during a consultation meeting on October 29, 2021, at the Ministry’s Conference room.
Addressing the Committee, the Deputy Minister disclosed the reason for the urgent need for a task force to stop gold smuggling in the country.
He said, ” People are smuggling our gold, and we want to prevent that, and that is the essence of this meeting”.
He added that the task force is also needed because of the dwindling statistics of the country’s Gold. Stressing that if this continues, Ghana will lose its position as a leading Gold producer in Africa.
Hon. George Mireku Duker said some of the causes of this smuggling is basically on the 3% withholding tax placed on unprocessed precious Minerals produced by Small-Scale Miners.
He added that this tax is in a way pushing people away from legally and formally dealing with Ghana and rather making them smuggle to other neighbouring countries to export through those corridors.
The Deputy Minister disclosed that his Ministry has held a series of discussions with the cabinet for the law on the 3% tax withholding tax to be amended, but until those amendments are made, there is the need for swift ways to stop the menace.
“Before this law is amended, we cannot sit for people to connive and hide under this law and continue to smuggle, and so there is the need for us to put up measures to curb this menace”, he stressed.
He further admonished the committee to braise themselves for the task ahead.
He said they could afford to fail at this task because the Sector Minister is determined to see it through, and so is Ghana depending on them.
Hon. Duker assured the committee that the Ministry’s doors are always opened to support them with all the needed resources and logistics for the smooth running of their operations.
The Chairman of the PMMC Board, Hon. Kiston Akomeng Kissi, in a remark, asked that the selected security services work hand in hand with the management of the Ministry and the PMMC to ensure that the goal for which the force was established is reached.
Nana Akwasi Awuah, the Managing Director of the PMMC in his statement reiterated that one of the tasks assigned to them as the PMMC Board was to check the issue of Gold smuggling and as the committee has been set up, they expect results and collaboration.
The meeting which was held to engage and consult heads of the security service on the formation of the task force saw representatives from the Military, the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB) the National Security Council, the Ghana Revenue Authority, (GRA), the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Ghana Boundary Commission (GHBC) the Minerals Commission, and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
Credit: Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources