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Government disburses over GH¢310m royalties – Minister

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The government, through the Minerals Development Fund (MDF) and Stool Lands Administration, received and disbursed GH¢310 million mineral royalties to traditional authorities and to fund legacy projects.

Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources announced this at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra on Wednesday.

The Minister said GH¢240 million of the amount came from ground and farm rents and mining concessions while GH¢27 million was drawn from timber royalties.

He said the funds were disbursed to traditional authorities, metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies, Minerals Commission, and the sector Ministry.

The MDF used some of the funds for administrative purposes and execution of legacy projects such as school blocks, administrative blocks, ICT centres, laboratories, among others.

The Minister said tax mineral revenues collected by the Ghana Revenue Authority in 2016 was GH¢1.6 billion and increased to GH¢2.2 billion in 2017.

In 2018, the amount increased to GH¢2.4 billion but decreased to GH¢1.9 billion in 2019 and further declined to GH¢1.3 billion in the first half of 2020.

The Minister said the Jewelry Production Unit of the Precious Minerals and Marketing Company (PMMC) increased its revenue base due to public/private partnership.

He said, for instance, the PMMC’s Jewelry production unit generated $1.8 million, $1.9 million in 2018, $234 million in 2019 and $1.1 million in the first quarter of this year.

He said for the nation to diversify its revenue generation, the Ghana Geological Survey Authority was undertaking geological investigations and sampling to enhance mineral exploration and provide accurate geoscientific data or information to potential investors.

That, he said, would help investors to invest in less exploited minerals like iron and steel which could enhance and support the automobile industry since those metals were needed for the manufacturing of vehicles.

To that end, the government established the Ghana Integrated Aluminum Development Company (GIADEC) and Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GISDEC) to promote the exploration of such less exploited minerals to help diversify the country’s revenue base.

He said a stakeholders’ engagement would take place next year to sensitise the public on the activities of GIADEC and GISDEC.

Source: GNA

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