Prudent Management Of Mineral Resources Critical--Expert
The Executive Director at the Centre for Extractive and Development Africa (CEDA), Mr Emmanuel Kuyole has called for prudent management of Ghana's mineral resources to spearhead the rapid socio-economic development of the country.
He, in this regard stressed the need for transparency, accountability and tracking of mineral revenue accruing from the natural resources.
Mr Kuyole was addressing a training workshop of traditional rulers, Assembly members, the media, Heads of departments, Community-Based Organisations and community members on "Mining Revenue Management at the Sub-National level" at Daboase in the Wassa East District of the Western Region.
The workshop which is a sequel to the one held in November 2017, was organised by the West African Governance and Economic Sustainability (WAGES) in extractive areas on how to manage proceeds from Ghana's mineral resources to the benefit of the citizenry.
Mr Kuyole charged the Administrator of Stool Lands and the District Assembly to publish the disbursement of the mineral royalty allocation in the national dailies to engender transparency and accountability.
He said community members would be sensitised on public fund administration tracking at the next training workshop in March 2018 and disclosed the Mineral Royalty Allocation to some Districts between 2011 and 2016 with the Mpohor Wassa District recording zero in 2015 and GH¢235,489 in 2016
He said although mineral resources belonged to government yet traditional rulers, individuals and land owners ought to be compensated before the exploitation of the resources to avoid conflicts.
A Local Governance Specialist for the West African Economic Sustainability (WAGES) in extractive areas, Mr Akwasi Owusu-Bi told the GNA on the sidelines that the training formed part of measures to bring transparency and accountability within the District Assembly set-up by making information available to all stakeholders.
Mr Owusu-Bi underscored the Mineral Development Fund (MDF) as a key component in the District Assembly set-up within the expenditure arena hence the need for people to know what constitutes the MDF, the amount that comes every year and how the District Assembly uses the MDF.
His outfit would therefore empower Assembly Members and District Assembly officials to spell out how the money that comes to the Assembly was utilised and the five-year project had targeted the Prestea-Huni Valley and the Wassa East Districts.
The District Planning officer, Mrs Estherine Mensah disclosed at the meeting that the Mineral Development Fund for the District in 2017 was GH¢122,099.01 and GH¢111,583.86 for 2018.