Mines Minister to face Parliament
By Mohamed Bangura (Intern)
Leader of the Coalition for Change (C4C) party in Parliament has called on the house to summon the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources and the Director General of the National Minerals Agency (NMA) to answer to questions regarding the downward trend of the mining sector.
Hon. Saa Emerson Lamin, who doubles as Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Mineral Resources, stated that the sector is not only growing low but it is shrinking, which is a called for great concern.
“If government can spend billions to resuscitate the tourism sector, same can be applied to the mining sector. This is supposed to be the breadbasket of Sierra Leone,” he said during the debate on the 2021 budget.
He said the contributions from the mining sector is on a downward as according to him, the sector used to contribute 24 percent to the country’s GDP but that has shrink to 1.2 percent.
The C4C leader spoke about the termination of licenses of about 23 mining companies by the Mines ministry and NMA and noted: “The matter is very important and when you begin to imagine how many tires those mining companies would have bought, how many fuel they would have procured and how many contracts (local content policy) they would have capacitated and today they are no more.”
He added that foreign direct investments would go a long way in improving the socio-economic development of the country
Responding, Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Abass Bundu said: “The honorable member has raised certain important issues, particularly regarding the NMA and the ministry.”
As chairman of the Mines Committee, the speaker asked Hon. Lamina if he would like to give a notice so that the minister and NMA will appear before the house for questioning and he (Hon. Lamina) agreed.