The policy provides the general strategic framework for the minerals and mining sector, serves as a key input in developing Ghana’s mining vision, based on the ‘Africa Mining Vision’ and aims to ensure a high level of environmental stewardship in the exploitation and use of the country’s mineral resources as well as optimise tax revenue generation, while ensuring transparency and equitable distribution of the mineral wealth.
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Nii Osah Mills, made these known when the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources took its turn at the Meet-the-Press-Series in Accra, yesterday.
According to Mr Mills, over the past year, the mining sector contributed 14.4 per cent to the country’s revenue adding that since 1991, it had been the single largest contributor to total merchandise export, with gold accounting for 95 per cent of the mineral portfolio.
He disclosed that government was streamlining small-scale mining operations in the country by re-categorising their operations to exclusively include artisanal operators, in addition to the implementation of a system to track Heavy Duty Equipment used in small-scale mining in order to identify and arrest illegal miners.
Under the Land Sector, Mr Mills said, government was improving the delivery of land registration and other land-related services to the general public by establishing a Client Service Access Unit to serve as a front office for the Lands Commission and to provide a platform for a ‘one-stop-shop’ land service delivery.
He noted that the storage and retrieval of records had been one of the major bottlenecks in the operations of the Lands Commission and that to overcome this challenge, government was developing a Ghana Enterprise Land Information System (GELIS), which would, further, consolidate and improve the gains made by the Commission.
For the Forestry sub-sector, the Minister disclosed that the Ministry had supported the Forestry Commission in the implementation of a number of sustainable forest management strategies, key amongst them being the development of forest reserve management plans, about 30 of which plans, he said, had, so far, been completed.
Mr Mills expressed concern about the intense encroachment and destruction of the forest and wildlife resources of the country as a result of illegal settlements, farming, poaching, mining and chainsaw operations.
He gave the assurance that the problem was being addressed with the establishment of the Rapid Response Unit within the Forestry Commission to augment the operations of the Military and Police Task Forces.
Source: ISD (Chantal Aidoo & Aliyah Bayali)