The Deputy National Communications Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress, Malik Basintale has admonished President Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party administration to ensure that due diligence processes are followed in the Lithium Mining Agreement signed between the Government of Ghana and Barari DV Ghana Limited.
Speaking in a media interview on Friday, December 8 2023, the former Savannah Region Communications Officer for the National Democratic Congress expressed doubt about the lithium agreement signed between the country and the Barari DV Ghana Limited benefiting the country and its people.
Mr Basintale further argued that the contract agreement on the construction and mining of lithium at Ewoyaa in the Mfantseman Municipality in the Central Region did not follow the right procedure under the laws of Ghana.
“Even before we discuss percentages, I believe everything about the lithium agreement has been done wrongly. There is a reason why, the constitution in Article 268 stipulates that such mineral exploitation or contract must be sent to parliament for ratification. There is no defence than the constitution of Ghana under Article 268 which has clearly stated that you must submit such an agreement or contract to parliament before you go ahead with whatever you want to do.
“The Minister must be asked whether he did submit the agreement to parliament. I can say confidently that they didn’t because yesterday the ranking member on Mines on Energy in Parliament, Honorable Abu Jinapor held a press conference and said that he was disappointed that such a deal that which has clear legal procedure to be followed by the government has not conformed to”.Malik Basintale
Mr Malik Basintale further explained that the motive behind the requirement for such a deal or agreement to be sent to parliament is to ensure that there is transparency and accountability.
According to him, the opposition from indigenes in the Mfantseman Municipality in the Central Region against the agreement is a result of the government’s failure to conduct proper consultation before the agreement, particularly with parliament.
“There is a reason the constitution provided that such a deal must go to Parliament; the reason is that you are going to undertake the exploitation of someone’s land and those groups of people have representation in Parliament, so it is only right you send it before the floor of Parliament. I have seen some demonstrations commencing and I have listened to some press conferences by some people of Mfansteman, I listen to one John Bamble who is a native in the area and he strongly expressed his revulsion against the deal. So if you start getting stiff opposition from the people you can’t blame their representatives in parliament because you didn’t send it to parliament in the first place”.Malik Basintale
NDC To Review Lithium Mining Agreement
Moreover, Mr Malik Basintale assured Ghanaians that the National Democratic Congress when elected into office in 2024 shall review the Lithium Mining Agreement signed between the Government of Ghana and Barari DV Ghana Limited and ensure that the major concerns that have been raised by the residents in the areas are addressed.
The opposition National Democratic Congress Deputy National Communications Officer further indicated that the party when elected would also investigate and prosecute persons who failed to follow the due processes required before the agreement was done.
He thus admonished Barari DV Ghana Limited, the company that has received the lease agreement to exercise precaution in carrying out its operation in the construction and mining of the lithium at Ewoyaa in the Mfantseman Municipality of the Central Region.