Citizens Must Benefit From Mineral Revenues
The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mining, George Mireku Duker, has stated that citizens must derive necessary benefits from the mineral revenues of the country, through effective local content participation.
According to the deputy minister, the ordinary Ghanaian expects to benefit from the mineral revenue of the state and they, as duty bearers, must ensure it is done for them.
Delivering a keynote address at a stakeholder forum, organised by the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF),in Accra on Wednesday, September 27, Mr. Duker said, mining industries and the populace must have a mutually beneficial relationship for both exploiters and citizens towards equitable management of natural resources.
“Without the value chain development intended to create local wealth from the resources, acquire know-how and boost employment, we will forever live on scraps and not enjoy our God-given natural resources. The ordinary Ghanaian expects to benefit from the Minerals revenue of the state and we must ensure it is done,” he said.
Mr. Mireku Duker noted that the government had already taken the lead in that regard by ensuring that the small-scale mining sector is reserved exclusively for Ghanaians.
The forum, on a theme :“MIIF As a Lever for Ghana’s Development: Transparent, Accountable and Responsible Investing to Secure Future Wealth for Ghanaians,” brought together stakeholders from the Chamber of Mines, Academia, Civil Society Organizations, Investment Community and others.
While commending the MIIF for its strategic role, thus far, the deputy minister tasked management to work with the Minerals Commission, the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) and other relevant agencies to develop a framework for deeper engagement between mining agencies and effective management of Ghana’s natural resources.
He also wants a collaboration between the two agencies and UMaT to design and beef up existing curricula on extraction, processing and the entire governance of the various critical minerals identified towards the energy transition, as well as provide scholarships to technical staff and students towards that study.
The idea, according to the deputy minister, is to build regulatory capacity and local graduates to match the sophisticated interests of companies that will exploit these minerals in the future.
Meanwhile, Mr. Duker has called on MIIF to provide a framework where Ghana and its businessmen will hold significant ownership stakes in future mines in the country.
He implored the MIIF to support local firms to develop manufacturing capabilities that can feed the mines with the necessary supplies rather than importing, which leads to the state losing a lot of revenue.
He urged African countries to develop symbiotic relationships to create wealth for all parties in the mining value chain.