Independent non-profit organisation in the extractives space, the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) has hailed as positive, provisions in the newly passed Local Content and Local Participation regulations for Ghana’s mining sector, but has urged further improvements in the regulations in favour of greater indigenisation.
The Local Content regulations got passed into law in December 2020 as the Minerals and Mining (Local Content and Local Participation) Regulations, 2020 (L.I. 2431).
Policy Advocacy Officer for NRGI Ghana Office , Mr Nasir Alfa Mohammed said it was remarkable how “in terms of monetary value, in terms of services in the mining sector we have jumped from $426million in 2018 to about $1.4billion in 2019.”
The remarks were made during a virtual training of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the media on the newly passed regulations. The training session was aimed at empowering the CSOs and the media to hold the government to account in respect of the requirements of the L.I. 2431.
According to the NRGI, despite the several positive and forward-looking provisions in the regulations, “we think there is more room for further reforms.”
Mr Mohammed observed among others that the regulations failed to provide for a Local Content Committee as obtains in the Petroleum Sector. A local content committee was one of several proposals CSOs submitted to the Commission towards the preparation of the regulations.
The Committee, the Policy Advocacy Officer dealt specifically with local content issues in terms of implementation and monitoring of activities.
“When you translate what happens in the petroleum sector to the mining sector we thought that the Committee would enhance the work of the Minerals Commission ,” he stated.
Senior Legal Analyst with NRGI, Ms Nicola Woodroffe was particular about defining what ‘local’ meant with respect to goods and services and making sure that “there is emphasis on in-country value addition.”
She observed that one of the issues that came up in assessment of Ghana’s previous local content regulations was the distinction between local importing foreign goods which provided less benefits within the country and hardly supported local manufacturing.
Ms For Woodroffe , it was important to ensure preference was given to “not just local companies but local companies that are into local manufacturing.”
It will be recalled that in February 2020, the Minerals Commission (MinCom) collaborated with the NRGI to organize a consultative forum for civil society on government’s proposal for amendments to the Minerals and Mining Act, 2006 (Act 703) and related sector reform efforts in the mining sector. The reforms included a proposed law dedicated to local content in the mining sector.
The forum was a follow up to a multi-stakeholder technical session organized by
NRGI in October 2019 to obtain updates from government and build a shared
understanding on the government’s review plans for Act 703.
Source: The Finder