Some religious leaders have served notice of their intention to submit a petition before Parliament to halt Ghana’s lithium agreement with Barari DV Company Limited.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion at the Institute of Economic Affairs in Accra on Tuesday, the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Ghana, Reverend Paul Boafo and the Spokesperson of the National Chief Imam, Sheik Aremiyaw opined that the current deal must be renegotiated.
It was their view that the deal was not in the best interest of the country.
The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, at a press briefing a few days ago described the deal as the vest in Ghana’s history.
He said there were several advantages expected from the Lithium deal between the Ghanaian government and Barari DV Ghana Limited.
Addressing a press briefing on Ghana’s First Lithium Contract, Terms, Benefits and the Way Forward at the Ministry of Information, he said: “Suffice for me to point out that it is the first time in the history of our country that we have successfully negotiated for 10 percent royalties for any mineral which is one of the highest for the exploration of any mineral across the world.”
“Suffice for me to point out that it is the first time in the history of our country that we have successfully negotiated for 10 percent royalties for any mineral which is one of the highest for the exploration of any mineral across the world.”
The Minister further announced that the government has also secured 19 percent state participation in Barari DV Limited, the mining company in the contract.
This he added is expected to rise to 30 percent by the end of the contract.
“We have already secured 19 percent state participation in this mining company with the requirement to scale it up to a minimum of Ghanaian participation through listing on the Ghana Stock Exchange for shares to be made available to Ghanaians and Ghanaian entities.
“What this simply means is that when it is all over, Barari DV Limited, the holder of this mineral right of lithium, Ghanaian and state participation will be 30 percent and foreign participation will be a maximum of 70 percent and this has never happened in the history of our country in respect of any mineral.
“And for the first time in the history of our country, a mineral lease contains provision for the establishment of a refinery and that is value addition and appreciation and this is the first time.”
But the spokesperson for the Chief Imam, Sheik Aremiyaw said “The mineral resources of our country do not belong to us alone but they belong to the unborn children. Once the mineral resources of our country are kept and entrusted, those who manage it do not own it.
“They are accountable to society, so for them to engage in any contract there must be a certain engagement where the people are satisfied. We cannot as a nation sit down and let this also go down the drain and let people take it away for us to suffer.”
Reverend Boafo on his part called for a revised agreement that prioritizes Ghana’s interests “I think that what we ought to do is to take this agreement, look at it critically come out with what we [Ghanaians] want.”