The mining companies in the country, all of them foreign-owned, have successfully blackmailed Ghana into not taxing their windfall profits.
And President John Dramani Mahama, the current occupant of the highest office in the land, which is said to be over-invested with the executive powers of our beloved Motherland, has caved in, tucked his tail in between his legs, and is looking up dutifully to the Chamber of Mines like a lapdog.
This is no rumour-mongering. President Mahama himself was reported by Ghanaweb yesterday to have openly admitted his impotence in the face of the mining blackmail in far-away Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, at the World Economic Forum.
?They (mining coys) threatened to lay off workers if we implemented the windfall tax and because we needed the jobs and you don?t want workers laid off you are coerced to go along. So these are major issues we have.
??They will not allow us to implement a windfall tax in our country?, President Mahama grumbled, holding himself and Ghana up to public ridicule.
The Chronicle?thinks nothing can beat such self-inflicted humiliation? We wonder how Ghanaian diplomats at the WEF felt on the occasion and how they are bearing up before their colleagues now. We who read it on the web in Accra here looked for a hole in our concrete floor to disappear into.
Yes, it is that bad! We can assure President Mahama that if he had been engrossed in his own delivery and had had time to watch the other heads of state and diplomats at the World Economic Forum immediately after his lame duck admission, he would have found them laughing into their sleeves.
We would be the last to campaign that our compatriots should cavalierly be dumped on the unemployment market. But this borders, no this is national pride, and in this particular instance anything may be sacrificed for it.
And in reality the implementation of the 10 percent tax on windfall profits of mining companies need not lead to the sack of a single mine worker, if only President Mahama would dare ?demonstrate the sort of mettle required of his high office, as well as live up to his oath.
For any miner sacked consequent upon the implementation of the windfall profit tax, President Mahama should order the Immigration Service to revoke the expatriate quota of a non-Ghanaian management staff of the mining company involved.
After all, many of these expatriate employees are believed to be mechanics in their home countries that are window-dressed up and brought here as engineers on mouth-watering salaries and perks.
Stories abound of many of them having been trained on the job in the past by certificate and diploma graduates of the former Tarkwa School of Mines, now the University of Mines and Technology. So they can easily be replaced with Ghanaians.
This tit-for-tatting may be escalated up to revocation of mining licences. The warning by the Ghana Chamber of Mines that implementation of the windfall tax would ?dampen the resolve of investors in Ghana?s mining sector?, is a mere smokescreen which can be dissolved with a puff of air.
The Chamber of Mines and President Mahama need no one to remind them that the 1000 plus illegal miners that we deported last year are lurking around the corner, hoping for an opportunity to come in legally.
Let any mining company not ready to pay windfall profit tax dare to pack bag and baggage and leave. It would find to its chagrin the next day that a delegation had arrived at the Minerals Commission seeking a licence to operate the abandoned mine.
In the considered opinion of?The Chronicle, John Dramani Mahama has been a great disappointment to God and country this time. The Ghanaian Presidency is not for the lily-livered and the earlier he realized it the better would be his sleep at night and the higher he can hold up his chin among his brother heads of state anywhere on earth.
He needs to redeem himself urgently and the only way to do so, without loose ends, is to announce the implementation of the windfall profit tax on mining companies -TODAY!
The Chronicle ?January 24, 2014