Sophia Akuffo’s claim on Ghana’s lithium deal unfortunate, says Jinapor

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources says the expected 10% royalties on lithium is one of the highest in the country’s mineral exploration history

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor has described claims by former Chief Justice Sophia Akuffo about Ghana’s lithium deal as unfortunate.

Akuffo has said the lithium lease that the government recently signed is incomplete without ratification by Parliament. In her legal view, this particular transaction ought to have been sent to Parliament for approval.

“My legal view is that it is a transaction that requires ratification, it is not complete. This is a document, it is signed and sealed and delivered but it is a deal that has to be ratified by a named authority, that is the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana,” she said while speaking as a Distinguished Scholar of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Accra on Tuesday (28 November).

She further indicated that despite comments that this particular agreement is favourable to the country, the contract is not different from the previous ‘Guggisberg-type’ of agreements which have not yielded any benefit to Ghanaians.

“It is not different in principle in the substance from any of Ghana’s previous colonial times types of agreements, some call it the Guggisberg model, whatever description, all those agreements are colonial type of agreements, which over the years have yielded very little good to the overall benefit of the average Ghanaian,” she said.

Best deal

Reacting to the development at a news conference in Accra on Thursday (7 December), Jinapor said those criticising the deal have failed to propose viable options to back their argument.

“The royalty rate that we negotiated for is 10% – all mining firms in Ghana from 1957 pay royalty rate of 5%. We successfully negotiated 10%, when you go to Australia it’s 5%, Mali is 6%, and Zimbabwe 5%, then somebody says it is a bad deal, throw it away,” he said.

“One other point she made is that anybody who support this transaction must have benefitted unduly, here I am, I support the deal, I must have benefitted unduly? No evidence? No basis for that?” Jinapor asked.

“When I went to law school first year, Her Ladyship Sophia Akuffo taught me that the cardinal rule of the game is evidence, because this is brush to brush everybody who supports this transaction and more or less casts insinuation and compromise our integrity when we all know the rule of the game is evidence,” he added.

Listen to Samuel Abu Jinapor in the attached audio clip below: 


Watch the full briefing in the attached video clip below: 


Reporting by Fred Dzakpata in Accra


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