Govt Implements Mining Scheme

Benito Bio (left) presenting the cheque to the LMC

The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Benito Owusu Bio,
has indicated that it is time for mining communities in the country to see the
worth of the minerals exploited from their soil.

“The distressed state of communities in which mining companies
operate is nothing short of a disgrace so we must work to change that
situation,” he said.

The deputy minister stated this during the inauguration of a
seven-member Local Management Committee (LMC) in Tarkwa in the Western Region.

The committee will implement government’s Mining Development Scheme
under the Minerals Development Fund and also facilitate the socio-economic
development of communities where mining activities are undertaken.

The committee would be required to produce a development plan in
consonance with the National Medium Development Plans for implementation.

“Government after government has made strides to establish laws and
policies to govern the use of mineral royalties in the country,” he said,
adding “previously, all mining royalties were lodged and managed through the
Consolidated Fund.”

He said “in order to promote the direct development of mining
communities in the country, the government in 2016 passed the Minerals Development
Fund Act, (Act 912).”

He mentioned that the main objective of the Act was to provide
financial resources for the direct benefit of mining communities and holders of
interest in land within mining communities, among others.

The committee, according to the minister, would be resourced through
the 20 per cent mineral royalties distribution under section 21 (3b) of the
Mineral Development Fund Act and donation from mining companies and other
related businesses.

The deputy minister later presented a cheque of GH¢1 million to the
committee to be used as seed money for their activities.

The Board Chairperson of the MDF, Esther Edjeani, entreated the
committee members to be transparent when engaging the communities at all

She also called on the committee members to try to understand the
plights of the communities, prioritize their requests and apply the funds

The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mines and Technology
(UMaT), Prof. Jerry Kumah, pointed out that UMaT was ready to offer the needed
assistance to the LMC to ensure it operated effectively.

From Emmanuel Opoku, Tarkwa

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