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Mining scheme for Talensi commendable - NORPRA

BY: News Desk Report
Bismark Adongo Ayorogo — Executive Director, NORPRA
Bismark Adongo Ayorogo — Executive Director, NORPRA

The Northern Patriots in Research and Advocacy (NORPRA) has commended the Minerals Development Fund Board for the establishment of a mining development scheme for the Talensi District in the Upper East Region.

It also commended Earl International Limited, a mining compony operating in the area, for honouring its statutory tax obligations and payment of royalties.

NORPRA, a civil society organisation committed to research and advocacy for protection of rights of mining communities and equitable distribution of mineral wealth, has over the years advocated in partnership with the Coalition of Social Movements on Mining in northern Ghana for the establishment of the Mining Community Development Schemes (MCDS) in all mining communities in northern Ghana as required by the Minerals Development Fund Act 2016, Act 912.

Socio-economic development

A statement issued by NORPRA dated October 16, 2022, and signed by its Executive Director, Bismark Adongo Ayorogo, said the MCDS — which received funding from royalties, 20 per cent of Minerals Development Fund (MDF) and donations made by mining companies and related business entities — would not only significantly promote equitable distribution of mineral wealth, but would also facilitate socio-economic development of the mining communities for improved livelihoods.

It further indicated that tax evasion had been a common phenomenon in the mining sector, and, therefore, described as refreshing and commendable, recent remarks by the Board Chairman of the Minerals Development Fund, Kwaku Sekyi Addo, during a training on MCDS for Talensi District Local Management Committee that Earl International Limited had been paying its royalties and taxes faithfully.


Poverty eradication

“NORPRA observes that the payment of compensations by mining companies to mining communities is not enough to guarantee sustainable livelihoods of persons affected by mining activities,” it stated.

Consequently, the organisation called on the government and the mining companies to invest more in sustainable livelihood programmes in the affected communities for poverty eradication and sustainable development in the communities.

In addition, the organisation stated that for purposes of promoting transparency and accountability in public resource management, it would collaborate with other partners to undertake public expenditure tracking of the resources in the Mining Community Development Scheme to ensure that communities, especially women, youth and persons with disability, derived maximum benefit from the scheme.