The Committee on Mines and Energy has urged Parliament to pass the Ghana Geological Survey Bill, 2015 into law.
The Chairman of the Committee, Amadu Sorogho said this on the floor of the House when he was briefing Parliament on the ‘Report of the Select Committee on Mines and Energy on the Ghana Geological Survey Authority Bill, 2015.’
Hon. Amadu Sorogho informed the House that since the establishment of the Geological Survey Department (GSD) in 1913, it has made significant contributions to the development of Ghana’s mining and other sectors. He added that about ninety percent (90%) of the country’s major mineral deposits such as gold, diamond and bauxite were discovered by the Department. He further indicated that the Department has also provided geoscientific advice to Government for the construction of major infrastructural projects including the construction of the Akosombo, the Kpong and the Bui Hydroelectric Dams, the Accra-Tema Motorway and the Tema Harbour.
‘Despite its significant contribution to the development of the country, the Department continues to contend with a number of challenges due to financial constraints. The Department’s only source of funding comes from government through annual budgetary allocations. This has proved to be inadequate with its attendance late releases. The financial difficulties continue to undermine the work of the Department and has led to low remuneration which do not attract the right caliber of technical personnel to discharge the highly technical functions charged to the Department, and also leading to the exodus of qualified and experienced staff and this has adversely impacted on the work of the Department’, the lawmaker enunciated.
The Chairman reiterated that ‘in view of the above challenges and in recognition of the great potential of the GSD to support the developmental agenda of the country through the provision of up-to-date geoscientific data, it has become necessary to establish the Department as a semi-autonomous body. He continued that hence, the laying in Parliament of the Ghana Geological Survey Authority Bill, 2015 by the Hon. Minister for Lands and Natural Resources for its passage.’
Hon. Sorogho also said that ‘the Committee has duly scrutinised the Bill and is of the view that the passage of the Bill subject to the proposed amendments will lead to the improvement in the country’s geoscientific research and investigations. He added that this will partly help in the discovery of new mineral deposits to diversify the mineral resource base from the traditionally exploited minerals such as gold, bauxite and manganese. Besides, the passage of the Bill would provide the framework for the promotion of standards of professional conduct and efficiency in geological matters as well as data acquisition to guide effective management of natural disaster, water resources and environmental management in the country.’
‘The Committee therefore recommends to the House to adopt its Report and pass the Ghana Geological Survey Authority Bill, 2015 in accordance with Article 106 of the Constitution’, the Chairman entreated the House.
The Lawmakers welcomed the Committee’s Report hence was adopted by the House.
Object of the Bill
The object of the Bill is to establish the Ghana Geological Survey Authority with the mandate to advise Government on geoscientific issues relating to mineral resources, environment and hydrogeology.
The Bill also seeks to promote standards of professional conduct and efficiency in geological matters, effective dissemination of information on geological hazards and ensure the effective exploration and exploitation of mineral resources in the country.
The Bill, which has been duly read a second time, contains twenty-nine (29) provisions and it is expected to be passed into law.