The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu has hinted to Citi Business News government may relook the laws governing local content participation in the mining sector to prevent instances of locals fronting for foreign companies.
According to him, even though the practice is different under the oil and gas industry, the situation is dire in the mining industry, depriving local producers a chance to benefit from the mineral resources of the country.
Speaking to Citi Business News, maintained that punitive action may be considered to deter locals from fronting and ceding portions of the mining industry reserved for Ghanaians to foreigners.
“The local content agenda is well implemented in the oil gas sector. In the mining sector it has been existing for quite a long time. Now the concern for most Ghanaians is that they are actually not benefiting. There are people that are still fronting for some of these [foreign] companies,” he said.
His disclosed that most of the foreign companies put Ghanaians as head to make it appear as a local firm.
“Some of these companies have affiliates and so these affiliates are been headed by a Ghanaians who front. So the Ghanaian comes forward and say I own this company. In the long run the benefit goes to the company through the affiliates. So I think we need to see the regulation again,” he said.
Mr. Amewu was of the view that considering punitive action against such Ghanaians will be a deterrent.
“We have to see what will be the punitive measures for Ghanaians that would want to front just for purposes of rent seeking. It is proper if the regulations make it allowable for Ghanaians to benefit then they must truly benefit,” he suggested.