The Director General Mr. Grant Wilson and Ken Wright the mines adviser of the Ministry of Mineral Resources have paid a one day working visit to the mines office at Maxwell Khobe street in Kenema where they held meetings with miners, dealers, exporters, traditional leaders and other stakeholders.
Explaining why they were in Kenema Mr. David Sheku Senior Mines Monitoring Officer said it was to get the views of the people in the region, learn about the problems which exist in order to find a solution to the problems.
Mr. Grant Wilson disclosed that they are in the country initially for two years under the sponsorship of the Department For International Development (DFID) to carry out reforms in the Mines Ministry.
He disclosed that they will be looking into 79 different things and also looking beyond the ministry, “So we have to look into the legislations in and out of the country.”
He explained that if the community is greatly involved in the management everything will become easy and better with transparency, and that can be done by decentralization and self-monitoring.
“There are good laws but the problem is the implementation.” Mr Wilson said.
The project he said is funded with 45 million dollars from DFID, 9.5 million dollars from USAID and 45 million Euros from the Sierra Rutile fund.
Respond the Section Chief of Gbo Kakajama, Chief Brima Kargbo said “there are good policies in the country but there is not good implementation. He explained that in the colonial days mining issues were directed to the mining office and there was a separate shop meant for selling mining equipments.
Issuing of licenses he explained further were not delayed and those concerned will be in the know.
He recommended that mines warden and monitoring officers must be well taken care of and also called for the establishment of a mining equipment shop.
Whosoever buys stolen diamonds must pay the same amount to the rightful owner when proven.
Mr. Amin Skaikay an exporter accused the mines officers of being too soft in executing their duties. He suggested that the cost of the licenses must come down so that more people can get it and renew in time.
Some of the recommendations which came from the public include, payment for licenses must be done at the bank and the receipts taken to the office for the issuance of the license.
NRA officers should be attached to the mines office to be collecting the tax, and all licenses should be owned by citizens.
Mines Monitoring Officers they said must be separated from the mines office for effective work. Declamation of the land must be done at all times