The Ghana MineWorkers’ Union of TUC is calling for a parliamentary audit of the Minerals Development Fund to prevent diversion of the funds into unrelated issues.
The union has expressed worry over the underdevelopment of mining communities despite the “diligent payment” of royalties by mining companies.
It says despite the revenues generated from mining communities and Ghana’s current place as the largest producer of gold in Africa, the country continues to experience “disappointing results” in translating this mineral wealth into broad economic development for the benefit of its citizenry, especially mining communities.
“We are therefore calling on the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy and by extension Parliament of Ghana, to pay particular attention to the activities and accountabilities of the Mineral Development Fund in order to ensure that mining communities benefit fully from the Fund”, said the General Secretary of the Ghana MineWorkers’ Union, Abdul Moomin-Gbana during the union’s annual week celebration to mark its 76th anniversary.
According to a report by the Ghana Chamber of Mines, in 2019, the contribution of the mining sector by way of mineral revenue to the economy of Ghana from producing mining companies was $4.6 billion.
Similarly, within the same period in 2020, total mineral revenue from producing mining companies stood at $5.1 billion. These mineral revenues were generated from mining communities such as Tarkwa, Akyempim, Ayanfuri, Damang, Akyem, Ahafo, Manso Nkran, and Obuasi.
Annual mineral royalties
The union says the current 20% share of annual mineral royalties allocated to the Minerals Development Fund is “woefully inadequate” and ought to be increased to at least 50% – a situation it believes will see to the transformation of mining communities as was envisaged in the Minerals Development Fund Act.
The Union premised its position on what it describes as the “current lopsided distribution of the country’s mineral royalties by Government.”
GMWU is also advocating for the setting up of a Mining Sector Infrastructure Fund under the Minerals Development Fund when its share of annual mineral royalties is increased to 50 percent as proposed.
“This Infrastructure Fund of 30% of annual mineral royalties would focus on addressing the infrastructure gaps of these mining communities on a more sustainable basis” Mr. Moomin-Gbana added.
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