An 11-member new board of the Minerals Development Fund has been inaugurated with Kwaku Sakyi-Addo as the board chairman.
Inaugurating the board, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor charged the members to provide strategic policy direction for the efficient utilisation of funds.
He urged the 11-member board to make judicious use of the MDF for the development of mining communities.
The MDF was set up by the MDF Act, 2016 (Act 912) to provide development projects for mining communities that have been negatively impacted by mining activities
At the inauguration on Monday (September 20), Mr Jinapor said it was unacceptable that mining communities continue to be deprived of the needed development despite the contribution they make to national development.
Composition of board
The members of the board are from the ministries of Local Government and Rural Development, Mr Frank A. Paji; Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Constant Gladzah; Lands and Natural Resources, Prof Patrick Agbesinyale; and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Minerals Commission, Mr Martin Ayisi.
The others are the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Mr James Ebenezer Dadson; Administrator od Stool Lands, Maame Ama Edumadze-Acquah; and the CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr Sulemana Koney.
The rest are Nana Osei Kofi Abiri, from the National House of Chiefs; the Lands Minister’s nominee, Ms Wilhelmina Asabea Bampoe.
A yet-to-be-named representative from the Ministry of Finance, completes the 11-member board.
Per Section 3 of the MDF Act, the sources of money for the Fund include 20 per cent of mineral royalty that is received by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) on behalf of the country from holders of mining leases in respect of the mining operations of the holders as well as moneys approved by parliament for the fund.
The fund also receives grants, donations, gifts and other voluntary contributions and moneys that accrue to the fund from investments made by the board.
Mr Jinapor urged the MDF board to rise above all obstacles and be diligent in the discharge of their duties.
“I am aware of the capping of the 20 per cent MDF by the Ministry of Finance, but I urge you to use innovative strategies to generate more money to develop mining communities,” he said.
The minister also urge the members of the MDF board to work hard to ramp up the contribution of mining companies to the fund for the benefit of mining communities.
For his part, Mr Sakyi-Addo said the board would work hard to justify the confidence reposed in them.
He said the provision of strategic infrastructure in mining communities would be prioritised by the MDF board.
The maiden MDF board chaired by Ms Esther Happy Edjeani was inaugurated on April 11, 2019 to oversee the operationalisation of the fund.