By: Aaron Bundu Lahai-Head of Media & Public Relations, VP Office
The Honourable Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has launched three mineral sector policies at the Bintumani Conference Hall in Freetown on Thursday 9th May, 2019. Vice President Jalloh informed the gathering of the overwhelming importance the New Direction Government of President Julius Maada Bio attached to the mining sector by improving the governance and management of the mineral sector in Sierra Leone.
Dr. Jalloh clearly stated that Sierra Leone is yet to benefit from the mineral endowments; he attributed bad governance and chaotic management of the mineral sector as the factors responsible for the country not benefitting from its minerals over the decade. He said that the country now have the opportunity to move forward, and create the condition for value added chain. Vice President Jalloh elaborated that deriving such gains require viable management including the overall governance, beginning with the establishment of appropriate legal framework and policies.
Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh believes that the three mineral policies will set the stage for moving the country forward, and set out clear frame work through which to manage the sector. He said that the policies will provide Government the chance to ensure its derive economic transformation, growth and development of Sierra Leone.
The policies, he said will provide opportunities for environmental safeguards, and improve rural livelihood. The Vice President furthered that the three policies will provide a comprehensive pathway to a promising prospect of an improve governance of the mineral sector. Dr. Jalloh buttressed that the three policies are demonstration of Government of Sierra Leone compliance with the Africa Union Vision on mineral.
Vice President Jalloh revealed four critical issues affecting mining communities to the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources. They include the need to address the effect of State disengagement and it impact on mining companies. Vice President Jalloh explained that the present condition of mining communities is as a result of State collapsed in the past, he stated that it is the traditional responsibility of Government to provide social services for it citizens like road whilst mining companies pay royalties.
The Honourable Vice President also raised the issue of institutionalization of Corporate Social Responsibility by mining companies. He suggested to the Mines Minister for the establishment of a Unit that will oversee Corporate Social Responsibility issues and draft a document that will explain in simple terms its meaning. The three mining policies were the Artisanal Mining Policy, the Geo-Data Management Policy and the Sierra Leone Minerals Policy. The programme was organized by the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Resources.