Players in the mining sector are mounting pressure on government for accountability in the transfer of funds for the Minerals Development Fund.
According to the Centre for Extractives and Development Africa, government disbursed only 12.5% out of the 20% required in 2017.
The Minerals Development Fund Act of 2016 (Act 912) was set up to provide development projects for mining communities that have been negatively impacted by mining activities.
According to the Center for Extractives and Development Africa, government has not been consistent with the disbursement of the funds.
Co-chair of Ghana Extractive Transparency Initiative Dr. Steve Manteaw laments this does not support the crusade for transparency in the extractive industry.
“What we found was that, most of the funds were not paid. The amount that was paid was not up to the required amount and they were also not used for the specified projects in the documents guiding the disbursement,” said.
Speaking at a minerals royalties management and community development roundtable, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asoma Cheremeh, assured government will ensure proper management of the country’s natural resources.
“We are aware the Minerals Development Fund is fraught with challenges, but we are poised to ensure that the board works assiduously to ensure that the mining communities benefit from the natural resource,” he said
The event put together by the Australian High Commission was to create an avenue for stakeholder discussion in revenue mobilization in the mining sector.
”We want to create an avenue for all stakeholders to participate in the mining conversation and space, and we believe organizing this event is part of the avenues,” Australian ambassador Andrew Barnes said.
The Minerals Development Fund was made operational this year, after its 11-member board was inaugurated.
By Grace Asare|3news.com|Ghana