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Resources Management Requires Effective Laws
Posted on: 17-Jul-2012         Source: dailyguideghana.com
The effective management of Ghana’s mineral resources would depend on the provision of laws that regulate the sector, concerned stakeholders have stated.

Apart from the pollution of water bodies, there are reports of destruction of forest covers as well as damage that buildings of residents due to blasting activities of the mining companies.

Paul Victor Obeng, Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, in a keynote address at the maiden mining forum in Accra, stated that the nation would derive the full benefits from its mineral resources toward national development depending on how the provisions of the mining laws are implemented.

The forum, which was under theme, ‘Managing Ghana’s mineral resources for sustainable national development’ was organized by the Minerals Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

He stated that the ability of the sector to contribute to national development on a sustainable basis would depend on how the resources are exploited.

Mr Obeng said there was uneasiness between mining companies and agencies of central government in executing their regulatory functions in tax compliance, environmental stability and application of fair labour and other practices.

He also observed that there was also tension between mining multinationals and local businesses owing to the fact that the latter usurped their legitimate business opportunities.

The first-ever National Mining Forum aimed at critically examining the challenging issues in the mining sector was held on July 11, 2012.

Ben Aryee, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Minerals Commission, noted that the mining sector plays a significant role in the development of the nation as it creates employment, earns foreign exchange and contribute to the Gross Domestic Product.

Fred Ohene Keya, a former minister who chaired function, indicated that government has a critical role to play in terms of formulating policies, legislation and guidelines in regulating the industry.

“Communities and mining industry leadership are expected to work together to remedy the near failure of the sector to position natural resources industry to serve society,” he said, pointing out that countries face uncertain future due to chronic shortage of clean natural resources.

Mike Allen Hammah, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, mentioned that government was implementing measures as such the drafting of a national mining policy, the development of a minerals development fund bill, promulgation of regulations.

He said people had questioned the negative impact of mining while others were of the view that wealth and economic development had been created from mining in some industrialized countries.

“For me, there is no reason why we should have development at the sacrifice of other socio-economic and bio-physical environment.”

Participants raised issues of Chinese taking over illegal mining and damaging the environment. A documentary complied by the ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas, which depicted the mad rush for gold and the negative impact on society and the economy, was shown.

By Emelia Ennin Abbey