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.

Source: GNA

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  1. King Kojo Sarfo says

    The joy in the extractive sector in a nation is not in its discovery,but the efficient management of the benefits that emerge from the sector.We need to address all the challenges of the mining sector before we are bombarded with the complexities of the emerging oil and gas industry in Ghana.

    Informed and experts like Dr.Steve Manteaw, should always consulted on issues of the extractive sector.With all the knowledge and experience of such persons, Ghana should not be a victim of the paradox of plenty.

    Also,formulation of a policy, should be followed with adequate mechanisms for effective implementation.It is very laudable to see Ghana proceed further to the subnational implementation of the EITI.However,there should be a policy for which the national Minig law will operationalise.This will address some issues as the misuse of mining royalties by local authorities.In countries like Tanzania,royalties are paid by the state and so it is not so difficult for the state to operationalise such subnational implementation guidelines.However,in Ghana, the extractive companies pay the royalties.In this case we need measures to ensure that revenues are effectively and timely disbursed and utilisation should also be geared to developmental needs.Local authorities should be orientated on the need to put mining royalties to a good use.

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