The Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. John-Peter Amewu, has stated that the government will double the royalty payments made to mining communities to ensure that such communities benefit more from the returns of mining. Mr. Amewu made this known at a ceremony to inaugurate the mutli-million dollar Resettlement Project at Perseus Mining Limited’s Edikan Mine in Ayanfuri.Addressing the gathering at the event, Mr Amewu stated that “with regard to mining royalties, the policy of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is to ensure that the mining community receives a higher share.”
The amount of royalties paid by mining companies depends on the gross revenue realised from the sale of the mineral product by the mining Company. The Minerals and Mining Amendment Act 794 puts the royalty rate application at 5% of gross revenue of minerals.
Mr. Amewu’s revelation is in line with the Ghana Chamber of Mines’ advocacy for the royalty returned to mining communities to be increased to 30%. Currently, 80% of mining royalties go to the government, 10% to the Minerals Commission, 9% to the mining communities and 1% to the Office of the Administrator of Stool Lands.
He said: “under the presidency of Nana Akufo-Addo, we will reduce the government’s share to 70% while doubling the community’s share to 20%,” adding, “The additional 10% to the communities will be given to the District Assemblies to be used specifically for developing infrastructure in the mining communities. This will ensure that more value is retained in the mining communities.”
Over the years, the Chamber of Mines has urged the governments to increase the portion of royalties that go to mining communities in order to improve the opportunities available to young people. This will also curb the wanton destruction of the environment as people desperately eke out a living. Many mining communities across the country lack basic infrastructure and social services despite the exploitation of their natural resources. Increasing the communities’ share of the revenue from mineral royalties will go a long way to improve the livelihoods of the people in such communities if the funds are tied to specific social projects and initiatives.
Profile of the Mr. John-Peter Amewu
John-Peter Amewu is 48 years old, and holds an MBA (Finance) from University of Ghana. He also has a Post Graduate Degree (Executive MBA in International Energy Industry Management), and Masters in Petroleum Law and Policy from University of Dundee (UK).
He has more than 15 years’ experience in Government, Private Sector, Civil Society and International Development Organizations. He has participated and undergone several mining professional training and attained various certificates from some Australia’s prestigious Universities (University of Sydney and University of Western Australia).
He is a Cost Engineer by profession with broader knowledge in the Energy and Mining Industry. He is a Co-founder of Africa Center for Energy Policy – ACEP; and also worked as the Director of Policy and Research where he provided pro-active and comprehensive policy related advice to support a variety of Government and Private Sector Projects.
He is the Chairman of Board of Directors of major private institutions in Ghana and a professional international consultant in his area of expertise (Mining and Petroleum). His contributions in providing solutions to the problems in the Energy Sector in Ghana have earned him both local and international acclamation and recognition.
He is currently the Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Volta Region.
He is married with three children.