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Mining has become more of a curse than a blessing – Yen Nyenya

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A member of the Social Justice Movement, Yen Nyenya, has asserted that the mining of gold in the Upper East Region and the country at large has become more of a curse than a blessing to mining communities and the larger population.

According to him, it was insufficient for the government to depend on taxes and meagre royalties from mining companies, yet the country’s river bodies, economic trees, and vast land were being destroyed, which would require more resources to restore.

He stated that “Minerals are depletable; they are not there forever, so it is important that the government in particular find ways in which we can get benefits, and that is why in many countries like Botswana and even Nigeria, they ensure that they get 50% of the resources.”

“But in Ghana we depend on taxes and royalties between 3% to 5% which is not enough and it is even the mining companies that will tell you how much they have made and pay taxes accordingly, so they can make 100 million and declare 20 million and you get taxes on that,” he added.

Mr. Nyenya made this assertion when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East show with Mark Smith on mining and its related issues.

He noted that the livelihoods of most people in mining communities were being taken away from them with little or no sustainable compensation, despite the fact that the country had mining laws that clearly spelled out the guidelines for compensation.

The Advocate for Responsible Mining emphasised that he was personally not against mining but was only interested in ensuring accountability and transparency in mining in the Region and the country at large for better shares.

He bemoaned that landowners, mining communities, and the country at large have not benefited from mining companies as much as they deserved, yet the mining companies in the Region and elsewhere in the country continue to engage in unsavoury exploitation of the mineral resources.

Mr. Nyenya stressed that it was unfortunate for government upon government to be consecutively trooping to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for aid while mining companies in the country were making millions of dollars from its soil.

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Gilbert Azeem Tiroog|Ghana

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