The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has charged management of the Minerals Development Fund (MDF) to commit to achieving its goals for the year 2023, as part of efforts to ensure the development of mining communities.
Contributing to the development of mining communities, the Minister observed, is critical to safeguarding the responsible operations of mining companies in the country.
The MDF, established by the Minerals Development Fund Act, 2016, Act 912, is enjoined to provide financial resources for the benefit of mining communities and related matters.
It is in line with this that Mr. Jinapor, who was speaking during a working visit to the offices of MDF, said the mandate and work of MDF are consequential to efforts aimed at constructing a responsible mining industry.
Given that the Fund was set up, among others, to promote the welfare of the indigenes of mining communities, he contended that the commitment to provide alternative livelihoods, social infrastructure and other interventions across mining areas will continue.
While noting the ongoing work of MDF in the mining areas, he acknowledged this will help mining communities to become direct beneficiaries of the country country’s mining industry.
The minister’s visit also offered MDF a chance to present its action plan for 2023, which Mr. Jinapor later described as ambitious and achievable through concerted and collaborative efforts between the agency and the ministry.
The action plan, according to the minister, contains projects in the areas of health, education, alternative livelihood empowerment and general infrastructure.
“The action plan is such that they are going to roll-out a lot more projects in the mining communities. It is absolutely important that we carry indigenous mining communities with us, because without them we will not have the needed stability to construct the mining industry we so wish for,” he said.
The Administrator of MDF, Dr. Norris Hammah, said his outfit is grateful to the ministry for the support it has been receiving and is willing to team-up with ministry to achieve its set objectives for the 2023 calendar year and beyond.
He mentioned that the MDF is mandated by law to provide financial assistance in various ways to mining communities, and will ensure that the fund executes its mandate to the satisfaction of residents in all mining communities.