Gov’t underreporting mining revenue received in 2019 – CSOs
Adnan Adams Mohammed
Government has been accused of deliberately under-reporting the revenues it received from mining companies in last year just to support the valuation of the Agyapa Royalties deal at US$1.0 billion.
The group of about 22 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), calling itself ‘Alliance of CSOs working on Extractives, Anti-Corruption, and Good Governance’ at a press briefing in Accra yesterday claimed that, government reported Ghana’s gold royalties last year to be US$123 million during a meeting with them , but from their independent checks the figure was rather US$200 million.
Apart from the accusation of under-reporting the country’s earnings from gold royalties, they said, government is also hampering access to the information on the deal. Interestingly, through government’s communication it is evident that it is either not paying attention to the revenue flows in the sector, or deliberately undervaluing the assets for unknown reasons.
“When a direct question was posed to the Deputy Minister of Finance on the amount of royalties received from gold in 2019, he said Ghana received about GH¢650 million ($123 million), the spokesperson for the CSOs Alliance, Dr Steve Manteaw lamented.
The Co-Chair of Ghana Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) disclosed further that, “The truth is that Ghana received GH¢1.06 billion ($200 million) from the big companies under the Chamber of Mines alone. Government has data on the other receipts, yet it decided to under-report the numbers.
“Again, in our meeting with the Finance Ministry, we were given half-year receipts for 2019 of $72 million (¢366 million). The underreporting of the 2019 revenue which is the most significant period for revenue projection and emphasis on old royalty numbers is intriguing,” Dr Manteaw added.