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Non-gold royalties’ collection: EOCO joins MIIF inter-agency task force

EOCO becomes the newest member of a group of related agencies in the extractive and minerals sub sector led by MIIF

 The Economic and Organized Crimes Office (EOCO) has joined efforts to improve royalty payments and collections due the state from the mining sector in Ghana.

EOCO has thus become the newest member of a group of related agencies in the extractive and minerals sub sector led by the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF).

MIIF is the statutory body that receives royalties on behalf of the state, manages the equity interest of Government of Ghana in large-scale mining companies. The Fund subsequently invests these dividends and royalties on behalf of the people of Ghana.

The Inter Agency collaboration is borne out of a framework to enhance the collection of royalties, expand the royalties net and streamline communication on royalties’ payments especially from non-gold mining sector such as salt mining, sand winning, limestone, granite, and quarrying.

 Strategic collaboration  

The collaboration which was initiated by MIIF in December 2021, has improved the efficiency in collections of non-gold royalties through collaborative efforts of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) which is responsible for the collection of royalties on behalf of MIIF, the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) which assesses standards and accurate production measurements of minerals and the Minerals Commission (MINCOM), the regulator of the mining sector.

The Inter-Agency committee comprises officials from the Minerals Commission, the regulator of the sector, Ghana Standards Authority (GSA), Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

The Chief Executive Officer of MIIF, Edward Nana Yaw Koranteng, welcomed the inclusion of EOCO to the Inter-Agency. “The inclusion of EOCO” Mr Koranteng indicated “adds a new dimension to this all-important initiative and we will leverage on their expertise and infrastructure to help identify and collect royalties from these mineral types”.

Results so far

 “Payments of Royalties from quarries since we started this Inter-Agency Collaboration in December 2021 have gone up by over 100%.  For the first time in Ghana’s history, Sand Winners who had never paid royalties to the State are now making good their commitments and paying royalties.

“The Salt and Limestone sectors are performing above 200% on pre-November 2021 figures. We could end the year at circa GHc 30 million which was lost to the state previously” Edward Koranteng said.

The collaboration is also yielding reconciliation of data, collection of data and information sharing much quicker.  We are dilating on the same information and adopting a singular multifaceted strategy because we are all in one room thinking about solutions and efficiency.

“This helps us to leverage our experiences for innovation. For example, through this inter-agency, the business development unit of MIIF has built a geo-mapping system covering most of the non-gold minerals.

“We are working together, with the relevant laws and mandates leaving no room for exploitation by those who want to take advantage of the system by deliberately living in the crevasses. This is the true benefit of working together” Koranteng added.

EOCO’s role

The Economic and Organized Crime Office established by the Economic and Organized Crime Office Act, 2010 (Act 804) is a specialized agency to monitor and investigate economic crimes and on the authority of the Attorney-General prosecute these offences to recover the proceeds of crime and provide for related matters.

“It has as part of its mission; detecting, investigating, preventing and prosecuting all serious economic and organized crimes in Ghana. The non-payment of royalties offends the law.

“There are instances where some of the practices of companies in the mining sector border on clear attempts to evade their payment obligation through very complex schemes.

“What EOCO further brings to the Inter- agency is a law enforcement muscle and also the ability to detect and investigate these practices” Koranteng said.

The Executive Director of EOCO, COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah stated that, “EOCO has a mandate to investigate crimes and prevent the occurrence of same”.

“To be able to do this we need to better understand the mining sector to enable a full deployment of our resources, collect and package evidence professionally and to protect data collected.

“This is what we bring to the Inter Agency Framework”. We are excited to be part of an all-government collaboration.” The EOCO boss said.

About  MIIF

 MIIF is a sovereign minerals fund mandated by the Minerals Income Investment Fund Act 2018, (Act 978) as amended, to maximize the value of dividend and royalties’ income accruing to the Republic of Ghana in a beneficial, accountable and sustainable manner and to monetize Ghana’s mineral wealth in a manner which would bring long term value to Ghana.

MIIF also has 100% ownership of Agyapa Royalties Company, the only state-owned gold royalties company in Africa. MIIF has plans to list Agyapa on the London Stock Exchange and the Ghana Stock Exchange.

MIIF has invested in the Toronto, Frankfurt and now Ghana listed Asante Gold Corporation which has just opened the lucrative Bibiani gold mine and is on the verge of acquiring the Kinross Chirano gold mine in Ghana.

The acquisition will create one of the largest gold mining companies in West Africa. MIIF is also planning to invest in lithium and other upcoming gold projects.

Wilberforce Asare

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