Let’s review mining laws – stakeholders

Stakeholders at a Resource Nationalism Forum in Accra on Thursday called for a review of the mining laws to ensure that a good amount of mining royalties are allocated to develop mining communities.

Resource nationalism is explained as the efforts by countries to extract maximum value and developmental impact from their finite natural resources for their people.

Currently, 90 per cent of all mining royalties went into the State Consolidated fund and the remaining 10 percent was shared among stool lands and communities through district assemblies.

Most mining communities like Prestea, Tarkwa, Huni Valley, and Bogoso in the Western Region lie in shambles with residents living in despair and anguish.

The stakeholders expressed concern about the current state of ruin in which most mining communities laid, lacking social amenities like good roads, potable water, health care facilities and jobs.

The forum, organised by the Ghana Chamber of Mines, brought together policy makers, natural resource experts, representatives of Civil Society Organisations, regulatory bodies and mining think-tanks, Government officials and Members of Parliament to discuss issues on resource nationalism.

The stakeholders contended that the 90 per cent royalties that went into the consolidated fund was too huge and needed to be looked at.

Mr Kofi Bentil, Vice-President of Imani Ghana, contributing to the discussions, said without a change in the mining laws it would be difficult for mining royalties to be shared and channeled into the mining communities for development.

He asked chiefs and all people concerned to “push their Members of Parliament to change the mining laws”.

Mr David Assumeng, Member of Parliament for Shai Osudoku and Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee for Works and Housing, said it was true that something needed to be done about the mining laws but as MPs, they could not push for a change unless a private citizen moves for the law to be changed.

He said a change in law could also emanate from the executive based on the contribution made from civil society groups who would then tender it in Parliament for subsequent debate and final passage into law.

Mr Dan Wiredu, President of the Chamber of Mines, said Government needed to partner and collaborate with mining stakeholders to make the resources benefit all.

He said; “Government has a responsibility in ensuring that mining resources are distributed equitably”. GNA

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