A 15-Member Multi-Stakeholder Minerals Development Fund (MDF) monitoring committee has been inaugurated at Daboase in the Wassa-East District of the Western Region.
The committee has Nana Kwaw Piabo IV, Tufuhene of Daboase as its Chairman and the District Information Officer, Mr Frank Kwabena Danso as Secretary.
Others are; Assembly members and other officials from the District Assembly as well as, Area Council members.
The committee would among other things, present a report on how the MDF was disbursed and utilised in the District and also mandated to submit a report on six projects being funded from the MDF between now and December 2018.
In an inaugural address, the District Coordinating Director, Mr Frank Ernest Oduro on behalf of the District Chief Executive (DCE) said the MDF committee was relevant as it would streamline social accountability and transparency in the disbursement of the MDF.
He tasked the committee to rise up to the task and bring their expertise to bear to spearhead the growth of the local economy.
The Executive Director at the Centre for Extractives and Development Africa (CEDA) Mr Emmanuel Kuyole who facilitated a presentation on the theme, “Improving Governance and Mining Revenue Management at the Sub-National Level” said the training would expose the MDF monitoring group to some social accountability tools for monitoring MDF funded projects.
He bemoaned that there had not been a single MDF project since 2016 apart from the on-going Nurses Quarters at Akyempim, adding that money used on scholarships from the MDF must be spelt out clearly in a report.
According to the records, Chiefs in the Wassa-East area have not received any money from the MDF for a decade.
Mr Kuyole listed the planned activities for 2018 for Daboase as Construction of KGs at Esumanam and Old Subri, reshaping of roads and financial assistance.
The rest are entrepreneurship training, construction of container bags at New Subri and Akyempim as well as the construction of an ICT centre at Ateiku.
The training would also develop monitoring templates to undertake tracking of MDF funded projects in the two Districts namely; Wassa-East and Prestea Huni-Valley in the Western Region.
A Senior Advisor in Charge of Strategic Partnership from the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), organisers of the training, Mr Sylvain Hatte noted that the key element of the West Africa Governance and Economic Sustainability (WAGES) project, was to ensure that mining communities benefited immensely from the mineral fund.
He observed that the fund was not flowing into the mining communities hence the organisation took upon itself to ensure that such communities derived maximum benefit from mining activities.
A Local Governance Specialist for the WAGES project, Mr Akwasi Owusu-Bi admonished the committee to exhibit the highest sense of professionalism and work to bring transparency into the disbursement of the MDF to accelerate development of the District which would go a long way to boost the image of the District and attract more investors to the area.
As part of the training session, the group paid a visit to Akyempim near Daboase to monitor a-2-bedroom semi-detached Nurses ‘Quarters which is 90 per cent complete with a contract sum of GHS341.181.38 being executed by EMANACO Construction Ltd. based in Takoradi.
According to the group, the six months timeline for the execution of the project had elapsed as such the contractor was given a grace period of two months to finish the project.