Enact Mineral Revenue Management Act Now – Chamber Of Mines
Ghana, though ranked as the second largest producer of gold in Africa, most mining communities have little or nothing at all to show for the wealth that passes beneath their soil, a situation that has called for the enactment of Mineral Revenue Management Act.
This Act, according to the Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM), would guide government on the utilisation of revenue garnered from mining.
In 2017 alone, the mining industry contributed a whooping GH¢2,160,742,773 (over two billion) to Ghana’s Direct Domestic Tax Revenue but none can account for its usage.
Speaking at the Second Public Lecture to commemorate the institution’s 90 years anniversary, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GMC, Mr. Sulemanu Koney said, the absence of a consolidated framework that enables transparency and accountability in the collection and management of mining revenue, is worrying.
“We believe that it is something we need to have as a country, often we hear lamentations that we don’t see what we get out of the mining industry because the chunk of it goes into the consolidated fund and that is where it ends.
“It gets lost and you can’t even track it over a very long period. A very small percentage now goes to the mineral development fund which goes to the sub national level, the districts and for development,” he said.
Mr. Koney continued: “What we are asking for is a comprehensive framework both at the national and sub national level, which helps us to track our mineral revenue that is actually used across the country. That is what we want. We want more transparency so that we will be empowered.”
Though government promised to bring into fusion this law, the GCM has asked lawmakers to be expedient in its actions in order to get the full benefits of the policy change.
Enacting a revenue act for the mining sector will further help the country meet the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) standards, the GCM noted.
The EITI is a global standard used to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources of a country.
The EITI Standard requires the disclosure of information along the extractive industry value chain from the point of extraction, to how revenues make their way through the government, and how they benefit the public.
Contributing to matters raised at the lecture, Minister for Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation, Prof. Kwabena Frimpong Boateng said, Ghana must be strategic in the exploitation of some minerals.
For a mineral like Manganese, the Professor said a lot could be done with it, which is not being done.
“If I had my way, I will say we should stop mining manganese in Ghana because we are not getting much from it. If we are unable to exhaust the full benefits of manganese, then we have not done justice to the state…it will be better to leave it for a more intelligent future generation,” he noted.
Instituted in 1928, the Ghana Chamber of Mines (GCM) is the main minerals industry association in Ghana. The Chamber represents the collective interests of companies involved in mineral exploitation, production and processing inn Ghana.
The GCM is anchoring its 90th celebration on the theme: “A Responsible And Sustainable Mining Industry; A Partner For National Development.”
By Grace Ablewor Sogbey