Participants at a workshop on the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) 2019 Report, have called for easy accessibility of the report, devoid of technical language and jargons, to enhance its understanding.
They said the GHEITI report should be actively promoted through publication of essential data on billboards, in local languages and frequent community durbars, with clear communication strategy to facilitate understanding among ordinary Ghanaians.
The participants were drawn from non-governmental and civil society organisations, with interest in natural resource governance as well as mining sector associations including the African Centre for Energy Policy, Centre for Social Impact, Kasa Initiative, Association of Small-Scale Miners, and Ghana National Chamber of Miners.
The workshop was organised by the Friends of the Nation (FoN), a civil society organisation, with interest in natural resource governance, aimed at enhancing transparency and accountability in the utilisation of revenues from the extractive sector.
Dr Steve Manteaw, the Co-Chair of GHEITI, in a presentation on how to make the annual report inclusive and accessible, said it was important to have frequent public engagement with mining communities on how mineral royalties allocated to them were being utilised by the assemblies to improve livelihoods.
The GHEITI’s report must be seen as an enabler of civic action and dialogue for improved resource governance, while the citizens used it for their own research, analysis and policy engagement, Dr Manteaw stated.
Efforts should also be geared towards improving community sensitisation and outreach programmes on the reports through summary of key data in infographics, billboards and community durbars, he said.
Mr Kwaku Boa-Amponsem, an Independent Consultant to GHEITI, called for timely transfer of all mineral royalties by the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands to the district assemblies.
Additionally, the monthly mineral royalty payments by mining companies should be regularised with the passage of the relevant legislation.
Mr Boa-Amponsem gave an overview of the various revenue streams from the extractive sector companies payable to the State, including mining lease, corporate taxes, ground rents, mineral royalties, property rates, environmental permits and environmental processing fees.