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MPs join calls by chiefs and staff of Future Global Resources to investigate plight of Bogoso-Prestea mines


By Edzorna Francis Mensah

The National Democratic Congress, NDC Western Regional Caucus in Parliament have joined the calls by the chiefs and the workers of Bogoso-Prestea Mines asking the Parliamentary Select Committee on Lands and Forestry and the Minerals Commission to probe or to investigate the takeover or purchase agreement entered into by Future Global Resources (FGR), the new managers of the Bogoso Mines.

The MPs said, they have received a number of complaints from stakeholders, especially workers and contractors. “Just three months ago, we received a copy of a petition addressed to the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, signed by six Traditional Chiefs within the Bogoso-Prestea mines catchment area”, on happening since the new owner took over, the MPs stressed.

The Group added that, not too long ago, another petition by the Senior and Junior Staff workers of the FGR-Bogoso-Prestea addressed to the Chief Inspector of Mines of the Mineral Commission of Ghana have come to them. “Overwhelmed by the situation, we convened a stakeholders meeting involving all the petitioners to get firsthand information of the actual issues surrounding the FGR Mines and its operations” the group indicated.

At the news conference in Parliament, the Member of Parliament for Prestea Huni-Valley, Robert Wisdom Cudjoe said, after a careful analysis of the petitions and the outcome of the stakeholders meeting revealed that, the traditional authorities and the communities were not privy to the takeover or the purchase agreements and “it has been observed that FGR did not pay a dollar for the takeover and has not injected any capital into the business”.

According to the MP, FGR has “increased the indebtedness from $ 30 million to $ 90 million over the three-year period.  FGR has drastically reduced the workforce through a series of staff redundancy exercises. FGR is unable to fulfill its Corporate Social Responsibility which has seriously affected the infrastructure development of the catchment communities.

He further noted that, FGR could not “provide basic Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and workers have to provide for themselves. Lack of adequate critical tools and parts for work. For example,” and for about “four months now the plant department has no crusher so operators use manual means with hammer to break boulders on conveyor belts. Workers operating underground have no means of movement so they walk for five km from level 17 to the end of work, these pose security threats and safety risks to workers”.

The MP again told the press that, FGR also owes all the critical entities within the business chain which includes Ghana Revenue Authority, Gridco, local contractors that provide essential services such as security, haulage, catering and fuel supply.

He mentioned that the power supply had been disconnected for almost two weeks now,“this has impacted negatively on the local businesses”. Non payments of the security services pose a great threat to the workers and the company, it allows unrestricted entry at all points which had led to three robbery incidents that always targeted the gold room since FGR took over.  Default in statutory payments, Tier 1 & 2 has not been paid for almost two years now. SSNIT 6 months, PF 8 months, Non-payment of severance package to workers even though it is enshrined in the takeover agreements”.


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