Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mining George Mireku Duker has assured that government will continue to monitor and ensure that mineral revenues are used to the benefit of communities affected by mining.
He decries instances where mineral revenues are used for recurrent expenditure by assemblies in mining areas and assured such practices will cease.
“Obviously, if you use the revenue for recurrent expenditure I will complain. Because in future, we must have something to show that these are the tangibles that were built out of the gold revenue because the gold that we mine will not be there forever,” he said.
Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have over the years had cause to complain about the judicious use of mineral revenues especially in developing mining communities.
Often, these revenues are used for recurrent expenditure including paying salaries and fueling assembly vehicles.
Because these are not measurable, community members often clash with mining companies accusing them of neglect and leaving them in a state of abjection.
Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mining George Mireku Duker admits there is a disconnect.
“If I come to you and tell you I have used the mineral revenue for fuel, how do you measure it. So, there must be some sort of measurable projects that we can pinpoint.”
He explained: “If it is human development like committing the funds into education, then we can say we built human resource and that can be measured”.
One fund established to address the concerns of neglect by community members is the Minerals Development Fund.
Over the weekend, the Deputy Minister commissioned a Community Center for the Tamso Community in the Tarkwa Nsueam Municipality.
The project was funded with the Minerals Development Fund.
George Mireku Duker justifies the community center and insists that has been a good use of the mineral revenue.
“As the Deputy Minister responsible for mining, I will be the last person under whose watch mineral revenue is not used well. We will continue to monitor and ensure that for example the MDF is applied according to the tenets of the law”.
He stated: “This community center you see here was a request from the community. In fact, I have attended programmes here and I’ve seen how challenging it is for the community to organize social events. So, this center will help address that. This is tangible, this is something you can see.”
By Eric Yaw Adjei|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana