The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr Sulemanu Koney, says contrary to popular opinion, the mining industry returns a large proportion of its revenue to the Ghanaian economy.
In 2014, for instance, he said the industry returned approximately 77 per cent of its revenue to the country with a large portion of the remainder used for capital expenditure and the acquisition of consumables.
Mr Koney said this at the just-ended 11th quadrennial conference of the Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) at Tarkwa in the Western Region.
The event was held on the theme: “”Rethinking the Remuneration Landscape in the Mining Industry: Critical Perspectives for Change”.
He said the industry continued to be a bulwark of the Ghanaian economy and that, it was the largest contributor to the country’s gross merchandised exports and the leading source of foreign direct investments (FDIs).
He said an expatriate population averaging less than two per cent in the last few years, demonstrated the extent to which skills, competencies and knowledge transfer had been prevalent in the industry.
A recent study, Mr Koney said, had shown that a million dollar investment in the supply chain of the industry would create about 105 jobs, adding, “Ghana needs to deepen the integration of the mining industry in the local economy.”
On the huge income disparity between expatriates and local mineworkers in the industry, he said, the tension that prevailed regarding the appropriate rewards for various contributors to the mining endeavour was reasonable.
Supporting PricewaterHouse Coopers’ report on expatriate pay, Prof. J.S.Y Kuma, Vice Chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, said factors such as local and foreign tax implications, local gross salary competitiveness and payments received from an employer in the country of origin, should be considered when benchmarking remuneration of expatriate employees.
The General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) of the Ghana Trades Congress, Mr Solomon Kotei, in a solidarity message to the GMWU, said the remuneration landscape in the mining sector, which was based on superior inequalities, would seriously undermine the productivity of the industry, if it was not given careful attention.
Credit: Graphic Online