MDF to funds for c’nity projects soon-Deputy Lands minister

The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr George Mireku Duker, has assured mining communities of the immediate release of the Mineral Development Fund (MDF), to expedite the completion of ongoing projects in the various mining areas.

He said his outfit had engaged the Finance Ministry to discuss the timely released of funds tothe MDF Board and not through the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) for onward disbursements which often delayed.

“I wish to state that the MDF Board from September 2020 has since been receiving its 20 per cent funds due them. The Ministry will frequently expedite the immediate release of funds for its community developmental projects,” he said.

Mr Duke made this remarked on Friday, on Accra, at the opening ceremony of a two day multi-stakeholders workshop on Mining Community Development Scheme (MCDS).

It was organised by the West Africa Governance and Economic Sustainability in Extractive Area Project (WAGES) in collaboration with theMDF Boardand the Ghana Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

The purpose of the workshop among other things was to strengthen the co-ordination between the Local Managements Committee (LMC) of MDF and stakeholders, to create an enabling environment of knowledge sharing that will equip the LMC.

Mr Duker said,the reason for the fair by-partisan composition of the LMC was to ensure the inclusion of relevant stakeholders in mining communities, to champion the needed socio-economic development of their people.

He said members of the LMC included, a chairperson appointed by Board of MDF in consultation with the District Assembly and traditional authorities of the mining community, the appointment of the District Chief Executive of the mining area,and a member from the traditional rulers of the mining community, among others.

“In furtherance to the operationalisation of the LMC to ensure transparency and compliance in disbursement, the Managers of the MDF in August 2020 developed guidelines for the disbursement and management of the MCDS.

“This was to among others ensure relevant stakeholders abide to all applicable compliance in fund management and ensure disbursement from the funds are used in providing the needed socio-economic benefits  and developments of the mining communities,” he said.

The Chairman of the MDF Governing Board, Mr Kwaku Addo Sakyi-Addo, assured the stakeholders of tapping into the knowledge of the previous board to complete all ongoing projects.

He said the MDF Act mandate the Board to establish MDCS in the local level with the aim of improving the living standard of people in mining areas.

BY BERNARD BENGHAN

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