We Can’t Blame Our Failure To Exploit Our Own Minerals On Foreign Companies - Dr Steve Manteaw

Co-chairman for Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI), Dr Steve Manteaw says Ghana cannot blame its failure to exploit its minerals on foreign companies engaging in mining and oil business in the country.

According to him, many countries with oil in commercial quantities including Ghana set up their own companies immediately after discovering oil in the country in order not to leave the oil exploration business to foreign companies alone.

Speaking on Okay FM’s 'Ade Akye Abia' Morning Show, Dr Steve Manteaw indicated that many of those countries with oil in commercial quantities have been successful due to the fact that they took charged of the oil business and contracted foreign companies to do the most difficult part of the work and pay them off.

He was of the view that Ghana could have adopted the same approach by making sure that GNPC has the capacity to exploit the country’s oil and rather task the foreign companies to do the labourer work so as to make the profit remains in the country.

“Ask yourself that since GNPC was established, has it been able to develop its capacity to the level where it can take the oil bloc and exploit the oil? So, we cannot blame our failure on the foreigners who are doing mining or exploiting oil in the country,” he chided.

He again said that the leaders of the country from the onset of the mining and oil businesses failed to negotiate well for the country as they sold the country’s raw materials very cheap to the foreign companies.

“We go for negotiations, the raw materials belong to us but if we sell them very cheap, how do we turn round to blame the foreigners? If you are a poor negotiator, how do you turn round to come and blame the foreign companies that you went into negotiation with?”, he asked.

He wondered how the foreigners can outwit our leaders in negotiations when they attended the same school and are even better academically than them [foreigners].

Another bottleneck Dr Steve Manteaw raised has to do with institutions that have been bastardized and turned to extensions of political parties in power; thus, any political party in power tends to employ its own people at GNPC as this status quo if continues to persist, will affect the development of the country.