Civil Society groups to lead campaign to track mining proceeds

Civil Society groups to lead campaign to track mining proceeds

Civil society groups are preparing for a campaign to compel government to adopt measures to ensure proper management of mining revenue for the benefit of ordinary Ghanaians.

Affiliates are unhappy proceeds from the industry are going into recurrent expenditure, instead investment for posterity.

Chairman of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, Dr. Steve Manteaw, says Ghana needs clear-cut guidelines on appropriation of such resources in the national budget. He spoke to Nhyira Fm on the sidelines of the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative workshop in Kumasi.

Dr. Manteaw insists such policy will help improve the lot, especially, of mining communities who suffer unduly from effects of mining.

“Mineral revenues are very volatile in nature and that is the major lesson we learnt in mining and which going into the oil sector, we put in place measures like the Petroleum Stabilization Fund and also the Heritage Fund. The Heritage Fund in particular addresses inter-generational interest in the resource. We would want to see similar arrangements in mining,” Dr. Manteaw stressed.

The Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (GHEITI) is aimed at increasing transparency and accountability in the receipt and utilization of payments and revenues generated by the extractive industry.

Dr. Manteaw who is also co-chair of GHEITI, wants citizens to have opportunity to track such funds as is the case with the oil sector.

“We want to see clearly stated areas for spending mining revenues so that we are able to track and ensure that mining revenues are spent on projects that will inure to the benefits of the citizens,” Dr. Manteaw emphasized.

Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Samuel Yaw Adusei in his address, asked stakeholders to pay more attention to environmental pollution, among other challenges confronting mining communities.

He also wants total participation of citizenry in the decision making process and commended the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

“Initiatives like the GHEITI which seek to provide opportunity for public disclosure of revenues by both the extractive companies and government, help to complement existing structures of good governance and transparency in the country,” Mr. Adusei said.