AngloGold Ashanti, the largest mining company in Ghana, has been coerced to award contracts previously meant for foreign companies to Ghanaians outside the remit of the industry legal framework. This appears to be bad practice by government against a business entity.
However, Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu boasts of his undue influence on the mining company, pointing out that he uses it to the advantage of the local businesses.
Mr Amewu in an interview with Accra based radio admitted that, when he heard the mining company was to give some contracts to foreigners he had to rush to the mining company and stop them immediately.
“That was not by law but we had to stop them because that was the right thing to be done,” he said.
Two months ago, the Lands Minister lashed out at AngloGold Ashanti for shortchanging local companies over contracts to supply the mining firm with equipment and other consumables as plans are underway to redevelop it.
AngloGold Ashanti had put together a forum in Accra to coach local companies on how to be successful in bidding for contract ahead of the exercise. But the forum it appears was a charade, Mr Amewu alleged.
“I have a feeling that this gathering is a mere propaganda gathering. It is just to send signals to Ghanaians that AngloGold will be doing things differently,” he said, adding but that is not the case.
The minister said he was reliably informed, AngloGold had already shortlisted at least two foreign companies to undertake the supply job and was only organizing the forum for purposes of propaganda.
Fast forward to May and Mr Amewu says he has succeeded in getting the mining firm to reverse its decision and now award these contracts to Ghanaian companies.
“What we are doing now is to ensure that they look for a local partner and my understanding is that they now have the local partner. They had to change based on my directives,” he disclosed.