‘Guidelines On Spending Mineral Revenue Are Necessary’

Ghana needs a comprehensive mineral revenue management policy to guide government’s expenditure on mineral extraction, Mr Benjamin Boakye, Programme Director of African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) an NGO has advocated.

“Ghana earned GH¢ 1,437,418,585 in revenue through mining from 2005 to 2011, but the amount notwithstanding the nation is still grappling with economic development because there is no law to determine how mining revenues should be disbursed in the country,” he said.

Mr Boakye was speaking on the topic, ‘Multi-Stakeholders Consultation on Proposal for Mineral Revenue in Ghana’, at a workshop in Sunyani, on the government’s expenditure on mineral revenue.

A Ghana News agency report said the workshop, attended by 30 participants, was to solicit the views of the representatives security services, mining communities, the media, Environmental Protection Agency, Catholic University of Ghana, the University of Energy and Natural Resources , and other stakeholders,  in Brong-Ahafo Region.

The perspectives of the participants would be harmonised for formulating a law on mining revenues in the country. WACAM organised the workshop with the support of IBIS, a Danish non-governmental organisation, which champions the cause of the underprivileged worldwide.

Mr Boakye noted that even though mineral revenues constitute an important source of revenue for government and national development, the management of mineral revenues over the years had not translated into tangible development outcomes for the people.

He explained that lack of fiscal framework for managing mineral revenues, an investment and savings strategy, as well as a comprehensive accounting framework, were some of the challenges.

Mr. Boakye said discipline was now prevailing in the management of Petroleum Revenues because of the enactment of the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, therefore, it was time the nation developed a law to govern the management of mineral revenue.

He reiterated the call that the Petroleum Revenue Management Act should be transformed into an Extractive Revenue Management Act to cover both petroleum and mineral revenues, with a reporting format that disaggregated revenues by source and project.

“If government is not able to do this, a separate law to govern the management of mineral revenue must be enacted,” he said.

Mr. Boakye said the proposed comprehensive legal framework was a primer intended to catalyse renewed interest into useful ideas for discussions throughout the country towards a possible enactment of a mineral revenue management law.

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