Business News of Monday, 16 December 2013

Source: B&FT

Gov’t urged to review guidelines on compensation

Government has been called to review guidelines on compensation to assist the Minerals Commission determine compensation for individuals or group of people affected by the activities of any mining company.

Usually, farmers do not have the power to negotiate with the company involved, said Mr. Anthony Bassaw, the District Chief Executive of Mpohor, at a Consultative Stakeholder workshop in Takoradi.

The workshop, organised by the Catchment Area Farmers’ Association with support from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund discussed the existing regulations and procedures for determination of compensation.

Also, it is to establish a permanent joint-committee for the determination of compensation to be represented equally by stakeholders, as well as publication of reviewed procedures and rules for determining compensation annually.

The DCE noted that there should be a joint committee that will see to it there is a standardised price for farmers affected by the activities of mines.

“The Minerals Commission, the Ministry of Lands and Forestry and Chamber of Mines can also help in this direction to ensure transparency and an improved relationship between farmers and the mining sector,” he said.

According to Mr. Kwesi Fordah, Chairman of the Catchment Area farmers Association, the policy for determining the value of crops and farms affected by the activities of mining companies is not transparent and scientific enough during the payment of compensation by mining companies.

He noted that farmers spend fortunes to establish their farms, but receive absolutely ridiculous compensation after their farms are affected by mining activities.

This situation, according to him, leads to loss of property and revenue as farmers' perpetual sources of income are demolished.

“One major constraint faced by the farmers is the devaluation of their lands, making money accrued from compensation insufficient, not enough for building new houses; and apart from the paid compensation we do not enjoy any form of assistance from the mining companies,” he added.