Natural Resources Ministry, Manganese Company to meet over impasse on Friday

The Management of the Ghana Manganese Company, GMC, is hoping that a planned meeting between them and the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry will resolve the impasse between the two.

The company was shut down following allegations that it has shortchanged government to the tune of GHc1.94 billion in an operational audit report of the company by the government between 2010 and 2017.

But the Chief Operating Officer of GMC, Benjamin Atsu Quarshie has denied the claims saying a report from the Ghana Revenue Authority exonerates the company.
He said he is hopeful that the meeting, scheduled for Friday will yield the needed results.

“If they really get to understand where we are coming from, the report from the Ghana Revenue Authority saying that we don’t owe the government, then I believe there will surely come a time when they will tell us to get back to work. A meeting has been scheduled for this Friday with the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources. Hopefully, in that meeting, we will all find an amicable solution to the problems at stake.”

Government through the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah Cheremeh, last week ordered the Ghana Manganese Company to shut down operations.

The company in a response said it had been tax compliant and the shutdown order was unwarranted.

“As a matter of fact, the price of Manganese ore sold is now determined by the GRA. As a company, we have little or no say in the fixing of the price. Therefore, the figures put out by the Minister [of Lands and Natural Resources] are inconsistent,” the company said in a statement.

Already, the workers who have been asked to go home until further notice have threatened that, they will embark on a demonstration to express their displeasure if the government does not rescind its decision in a week’s time.

Some 2,000 employees are said to be affected by the shutdown.

Secretary to the Professional Managerial Staff Union of the company, Nana Owusu Oppong has indicated that “almost all the 2,000 workers have been sent home so as workers we are saying that government should change its mind. We are saying that if after a week government does not change its mind we will embark on a demonstration.”