Ghanaian local authorities accused of misusing mineral royalties
Dr Steve Manteaw, Campaign Co-ordinator for Publish What You Pay-Ghana (PWYP-Ghana), has criticized the practice whereby some district assemblies use mineral royalties on recurrent expenditure instead of development projects.
He said mineral royalties were intended to assist in the development of mining communities who suffer directly from mining operations.
PWYP-Ghana is a coalition of civil society groups campaigning for transparency and accountability in the management of the country’s natural resources and the revenue accrued from it.
Dr Manteaw who was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Obuasi said it was time the assemblies became proactive in developing local capacities to take advantage of employment opportunities in the mining sector.
“This requires special training programmes, and the assemblies should offer scholarships to their citizens to pursue technical training in mining related jobs such as mechanics, plumbering and machine operations,” he said.
Referring to the gold industry, he said the country had mined the mineral for more than 100 years and yet the industry is not integrated to the national economy.
Dr Manteaw said the situation had arisen because the country had a national mining law without a national mining policy.
“There should have been a policy and the law will operationalise the policy. That is why we have not been maximizing benefits from the gold sector.”
He although the draft national mining policy was prepared by the previous administration, it is yet to be finalized.
Presenting a paper on” civil society and social accountability in natural resource revenue management” at a workshop on “capacity building on budget and mineral revenue”, Dr Manteaw stressed the need for the people to have a stake in the management of natural resource revenues at the district level.