The Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Evans Opoku Bobie, has called for an amendment of the law establishing the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) to expand its mandate to cover the mining sector.
He said with the gains made by PIAC in enhancing transparency and accountability in the oil and gas sector, it was important to throw light on the mining sector to ensure that traditional leaders were held accountable for resources entrusted in their care.
Addressing a PIAC-led delegation, which was monitoring projects in the Brong Ahafo Region, Mr Bobie noted that it was time to start a discussion to expand the mandate of the committee to ensure accountability in the mining sector.
He added that traditional authorities in mining communities got royalties from mining companies and how those royalties were used and disbursed should be of concern to all.
"You find that some traditional authorities receive royalty from mining companies because they hold the land in trust for the people. We need to throw light on some of our traditional leaders and the way they handle the little royalties that come to them," he stated.
While acknowledging that PIAC's mandate is defined by law, he said, it would be prudent to amend it for more efficiency in the mining sector.
"If there is a way to amend some portions of the law to include the mining sector, then it will be very good," he added.
The Chairman of PIAC, Dr Steve Manteaw, indicated that the President would start a discussion on the mandate of the committee at a forum to be held and was hopeful that discussions around the expansion of the mandate of PIAC would be addressed.
Briefing the deputy minister on why the delegation was in the region, he said, the visit was in line with the mandate of the committee to ensure the prudent and efficient use of petroleum revenues.
According to him, it was not enough to just receive information and publish in its annual report; instead, it was important to get to the ground and get first-hand information of the projects themselves.
The PIAC delegation was accompanied by select members of the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ), sponsored by the German Development Co-operation (GIZ). —GB