Ruminating over Mahama’s comeback: Why Ghana’s bauxite could be under serious threat

John Mahama Sosp Former President John Mahama

Mon, 3 Sep 2018 Source: K. Badu

Somewhere in 2017, the Economic Advisor to the Vice President (Dr Bawumia), Gideon Boako, asseverated somewhat poignantly that the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has no moral right cautioning the NPP administration against leveraging Ghana’s natural resources, specifically bauxite through its partnership with China, since the Mahama’s administration gave away 58 percent of Ghana’s bauxite concession to Ibrahim Mahama, the sibling of former President Mahama (See: NDC sold 58% of bauxite concession to Ibrahim Mahama – Gideon Boako; citifmonline.com, 29/06/2017).

In as much as some of us are impenitent sceptics of bilateral agreements in the area of natural resources, the NPP government’s recent leverage of bauxite is indeed a well-thought through agreement, notwithstanding the fact that the outgone Mahama government revoltingly presented around 58% of Ghana’s bauxite to Ibrahim Mahama on a silver platter. How pathetic?

How do we advance as a nation when the siblings of an elected president, out of impertinent boldness continue to scramble for the resources of the nation as if tomorrow will never come?

In fact, all the available evidence shows that some friends and family members of people in high positions more often than not take advantage of the system.

Take, for example, the actions and inactions of some family members of former President John Mahama, in particular, his brother and businessman, Ibrahim Mahama, have arguably been having deleterious effect on the NDC.

In recent times, there have been numerous allegations levelled against Ibrahim Mahama. The most telling of such allegations is the 30 years bauxite mining lease which was issued by the Ghana Mineral Commission to Ibrahim Mahama and his partners on 29th December 2016, just a little over one week for his brother’s government to exit power. How bizarre?

Unsurprisingly, many discerning Ghanaians fretted thy souls with curses and condemnations. And rightly so, the vast majority of Ghanaians contended that such a venture was nepotistic and must not and cannot be allowed to proceed without challenging its authenticity.

Consequently, the multi-billion cedi bauxite concession granted to Mr Ibrahim Mahama’s company was revoked in September 2017 after the former Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu, had contended vehemently that the contract to Exton Cubic, Ibrahim Mahama’s company, was invalid.

According to Mr. Amewu, “The Company was supposed to provide an Exploration Operating Permit for the year 2017, an Exploration Operating Plan to the Minerals Commission. None of the above was fulfilled (dailyguideafrica.com, 24/11/2017).”

The credit must, however, be given to discerning Ghanaians for rightly voting out the apathetic and licentious Mahama government during the 7th December 2016 election and instead reposing absolute trust in the NPP government.

I have always maintained that if discerning Ghanaians had not voted the phlegmatic NDC government out of office, Ghana would have been wiped out of the world map without a trace.

Let us be true to ourselves, we cannot and must not allow the insensitive siblings of elected presidents to roam carelessly on the corridors of power and take over Ghana’s scarce resources to the detriment of the poor and the disadvantaged Ghanaians.

Believe it or not, the vast majority of Ghanaians were not much enthused with the GH12 million import tax evasion allegations levelled against the sibling of former President Mahama, Ibrahim Mahama. Indeed, if not the Honourable Agyapong’s whistling blowing prowess, Ghana would have been GH12 million worse off.

If you may recall, following the NDC’s humiliating 2016 election defeat, the Honourable Kennedy Agyapong came out and told Ghanaians that former President Mahama’s brother, Ibrahim Mahama, had been evading import taxes over the past few years.

The Honourable Agyapong was however rebuked, scoffed at, and queried repeatedly about the veracity of the seeming chilling revelation. But alas, he was proved right by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Consequently, the EOCO ordered Ibrahim Mahama to pay GH12 million as all his previous 44 cheques were dishonoured by the respective banks. How bizarre?

Given the circumstances, I will venture to stress that in order for our governance system to be fair and equitable, all political appointments and contracts offers must be based on merits, but not through vague colouration, nepotism and cronyism.

In fact, the concern being raised by the thoughtful sceptics in respect of the likely exigencies in our efforts to developing Ghana beyond aid is in order. We should, however, take solace in the fact that other countries have done it. So why can’t we do it? Of course, we can.

Honestly speaking, we have to seriously block the sources of bribery and corruption and cease measuring our achievements according to the amount of grants and loans facilities we manage to secure from the same countries we started life with.

It is indeed worrying and somewhat bizarre that after sixty-one years of independence, Ghana continues to lag behind the rest of the pack in respect of economic advancement.

Obviously, we need a true leadership with vision and ideas, altruistic leadership devoid of corruption, greed, Incompetence and capable of transforming us into an industrialized and robust economy.

Columnist: K. Badu