Former Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, Dr Tony Aubynn has asked the people of Obuasi to channel their frustrations to Ghanaian leaders instead of Ashanti Gold Company Limited. According to him, successive governments have failed to develop the town.
In an interview with the host of Ghana Tonight on TV3, Alfred Ocansey, on 12th June 2023, Dr Tony Aubynn said it is disheartening to see Obuasi in its current state although the town provides Ghana with more gold than any other place.
“We need to plan including mining as a contributor to development because no mining company goes anywhere to develop the place. It is the people who plan to use the resources available to develop themselves,” he explained.
Dr. Aubynn added that “When you get to Obuasi, you will see the Obuasi Hospital was not built by the government but by the mining company, but it does not make the difference we want to see and that is where the government has to come in and plan.” Dr. Aubynn bemoaned the fact that the people of Obuasi continue to wallow in poverty as well as lack of basic amenities like roads and drinking water.
He noted that Ghana over the years has over-relied on royalties and taxes from mining companies that come into the country to mine. He said, “Countries like South Africa have laws that protect mining cities like Johannesburg, Ghana only gets 10% dividend from mining companies, 5% of gold and only 35% of tax on profits earned by these mining companies.”
Dr Aubynn cited Johannesburg, Singapore and Rwanda as examples of cities that have benefitted from good leadership and laws and urged the government to review its mining laws so that the proceeds can be used to develop the mining communities.
By Clara Boadi Konadu