The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in charge of mining, Mr George Mireku, has asked businesses, especially mining companies to be transparent in their operation and avoid labour abuse.
He also urged mining companies to prioritize the development of communities in their catchment areas, as it is the key to establishing a mutually beneficial and sustainable relationship between the companies and the communities.
Speaking during a working visit to the Ghana Manganese Company (GMC) on Wednesday, he advocated for the formulation of community-focused development plans.
He stressed that the plans should involve engagements with various stakeholders to enable the mining companies to better understand and address the specific needs of the communities they aim to support.
Mr Duker mentioned development areas such as road networks, education, health and water among others as avenues for the implementation of Corporate Social Responsibilities.
“Every mining company shows us evidence of CSRs they’ve done. You have to design your plan with the chiefs. You have to listen to their needs and say this is what we can afford so that by the beginning of the year, you’ll have your plan attached to your operational expectations,” he said.
Speaking to the specific case of GMC, the Deputy Minister advised the management to be deliberate about publicizing their CSR projects to enlighten the communities on their positive impact.
He encouraged them to set up a fund purposely for undertaking Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSRs).
He enumerated several specific challenges such as lack of roads and public toilet facilities and appealed to the company to step in quickly and help them.
On his part, the General Manager of Ghana Manganese Company, Mr Joseph Ampong, disclosed that the company’s CSR capabilities have been hindered by its inactivity which was triggered by the Russia-Ukraine war.
Nonetheless, he said that the company has made efforts towards assisting companies by funding the education of some needy but brilliant students and rehabilitating poor roads among others.