CDD-Ghana calls for increase in mineral royalty payments to mining communities

The Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) has reiterated calls for an increase in the mineral royalties allocated to mining districts.

Despite Ghana’s longstanding history as a resource-rich nation, it is widely known that communities that produce these minerals are lagging in terms of development.

According to Mr Emmanuel Yeboah, a Research Analyst with CDD-Ghana, the percentage of mineral royalties allocated to mining communities were woefully inadequate, and that had accounted for the gap in development in these communities.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting to review the CDD report on the Mining Districts Development Scorecard at Obuasi, Mr Yeboah said the insignificant 20 percent royalties paid, coupled with the delays in the disbursement of the fund made it impossible for the affected districts to undertake any meaningful development projects in their communities.

He appealed to the Government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, the Minerals Commission, the Ghana Revenue
Authority and other key stakeholders, to consider increasing the percentage of the mineral royalties allocated to the districts to bridge the development gap in the mining communities.

The Obuasi Municipal ranked sixth in the latest 2023 Mining District Development Scorecard (MDDS) league table with a score of 35.4, out of 100 points according to the CDD.

The district performance score was said to be below the MDDS overall score of 38.4 points.

This suggests severely ‘weak’ governance practices in the Municipality’s management and utilization of mineral royalties.

The Mining District Development Scorecard is an initiative of the CDD-Ghana with support from Ford Foundation.

It was introduced to track the usage of mineral revenue in mining districts in the country.

The two-year project seeks to promote transparency, accountability and improve social and human development outcomes.

The project’s long-term goal is to empower and strengthen community participation in natural resource governance and manageme
nt for better development at the sub-national level in Ghana.

Obuasi’s score was only better than Asutifi North District and Prestea- Huni valley Municipal.

Mr Yeboah said the Municipality scored poor in two MDDS major component areas, which were; local management committee effectiveness and mineral development fund utilization efficiency.

He said, ‘across all the five major components of the MDDS, the Obuasi Municipal scored an average of ‘ very good’ in 10 out of 12 subcomponents that were assessed and scored using administrative data sources prepared by the Assembly.’

He added that the research discovered weak fiscal transparency as one of the challenges of the Assembly and the local mining committee.

Dr Amina Achiaa Asiedu Amoah, Chairperson of the Local Mining Committee of the Obuasi Municipality, gave the assurance that the committee would intensify its awareness creation campaign for the people to know the activities of the committee.

She also called for increase in mineral royalties allocated to
the districts to speed up development in the mining communities and finance the activities of the LMC including public outreach programmes.

Mr Ali Tanti Robert, Executive Director of the Center for Social Impact Studies, called on the Obuasi Municipal Assembly to scale up its public engagement campaigns to render account to the public on the utilization of mineral royalties.

Source: Ghana News Agency