Mineral Development Fund Bill For Cabinet Soon

Inusah Fusseini The government has hinted of its readiness to present the Mineral Development Fund Bill for Cabinet consideration in the coming weeks.

“Apart from providing transparency in the management of ceded royalties to mining communities, the approval of the Bill would also help the government to identify the infrastructural needs and with the accrued resources, undertake development,” said Inusah Fuseini, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.

He was addressing the opening ceremony of the ongoing Revenue Watch Institute and the German Development Cooperation 2013 Summer School on Governance of Oil, Gas and Mining Revenues in Accra.

In attendance are the Media, Civil Society Organisations and natural resource experts from 12 African countries and Switzerland. Some of the participating countries are; Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Mauritania and Kenya.

Participants are expected to discuss topics such as exploration, development and production, political economy and extractive industry, development and monetisation, metering in oil and gas sector, structure of legislative regime and authorisation regime among others.

Mr. Fuseini said the passing of the Bill would help the mining communities to achieve development and grow the economies of their areas.
He said the government, since 2003, had committed itself in displaying transparency and accountability by signing on to the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), which had enabled them to produce nine reports since 2004.

The Minister commended the organisers of the school for building the capacities of the people to be conscious of the oil, gas and mining sectors, to subsequently put politicians and other public office holders on their toes.

Dr. Joyce Aryee, former Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Chamber of Mines, who chaired the function, attributed the misuse of funds from the extractive industry to bad governance and bad leadership, particularly by African leaders.

She appealed to African leaders to adopt measures that would make them accountable to the people and create wealth for all their citizens.
Mr. Emmanuel Kuyole, Regional Coordinator of Revenue Watch Institute said the programme would equip the participants with the skills to analyse real contracts, legislations, fiscal policies and allow for comparisons among the African countries.

He appealed to the participants to maximise the benefits of the programme by replicating their skills in their various countries to check corruption and other malpractices in the industry. The programme which commenced on Monday is expected to end in two weeks.—GNA

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