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BoG backs laws to demand data on gold exports

April 26, 2017, 3:37 p.m.

The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has backed moves for laws to compel the Minerals Commission to submit data on export proceeds from gold to guide the tracking of export receipts.

The central bank believes this will prevent possible instances of under-invoicing by some gold exporters.

The comment also follows concerns raised by some members of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over the current regime.

Presently, the central bank relies on a database which is fed by various players in the export of gold.

Responding to questions at PAC’s sitting on Tuesday, the Director of Financial Market at the Bank of Ghana, Eric Opata said the regulations should be a step in the right direction.

“I am not aware for any enactment that makes it compulsory for the Minerals Commission to give us updates on all the licenses that they’ve been giving to the licensed gold exporters. We work as a team and discuss issues related to gold in the whole process. In that regard, whenever they issue new licenses, they copy us,” he stated.

Mr. Opata added, “But going forward, if this Committee considers it necessary for an enactment to make it compulsory for the Minerals Commission to furnish us with such information, we welcome the idea.”

The issue came up at the hearing by the PAC on the 2015 Auditor General’s report on the on the Bank of Ghana’s foreign exchange receipts and payments.

On his part, the Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr. Johnson Asiamah noted that the regulator, recognizing the potential of under-invoicing, has since last year, intensified its monitoring on the export and import proceeds of gold exporters.

According to him, staff of the BoG have been embarking on trips to acquaint themselves with data provided for computation by other partners involved in the measurement of export proceeds.

“From last year, we have increased our monitoring when it come to LGEs; we track and are able to reconcile how much they brought in and compare that to how much exports they carried out,

“But when it comes to how much exports went out, there are other institutions that are involved and we are assuming that they are doing their work well; they are weighing them well and yet we have many reasons to doubt it though but we must admit that there are many players involved,” Dr. Asiamah stressed.

Other issues raised at the sitting bordered on the Bank of Ghana’s efforts at stabilizing the cedi with its directive for exporters to surrender foreign exchange proceeds, ensuring stability in the financial sector as well as maintaining price stability with a target on reducing inflation.