The Chairman of the Mines and Minerals Committee in the Sierra Leone Parliament Hon. Saa Emerson Lamina has described as ‘laudable’ the three Mineral Sector Policies recently launched by the Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr. Juldeh Jalloh at the Bintumani Conference Center in Freetown. Hon. Lamina who doubles as the minority leader for the coalition for change (C4C) Party in parliament acknowledged that before now, stakeholders in the mining sector had done little to come up with crucial policies to manage the mineral potentials of the country.
There have been “adhoc structural response to guide our mineral potentials as opposed to these three polices which are the most comprehensive documents since diamonds were discovered in my home district of Kono some 89 years ago” Hon. Lamina noted. He added that this has been the reason for Sierra Leone’s little gain or not from its mineral riches.
Hon. Lamina commended the efforts of the President Bio led Government for putting together policies and programs to accelerate economic development in the “once used but neglected mining sector” in the country. “We appreciate policies and programs aimed at making Sierra Leone an even more attractive destination for mining investment, job creation and additional income” Hon. Lamina said. He furthered that if the newly launched documents on the mining sector were thoroughly implemented, the country’s story would change for the better, as he assured, “they are aligned with international best practices”. Speaking at the launch of the policies; Sierra Leone Mineral Sector Bench Marking Assessment Report, Geo Data Management Policy, and the Artisanal Mining Policy, the Minister of Mines Morie Manyeh said “the objective of the policies is to enhance inter-governmental and multi-stakeholder coordination” in the minerals sector.
He continued that the three policies are directed towards improving revenue management with more equitable distribution of benefits and prudent investment of mineral revenues. Hon. Lamina therefore called on relevant authorities in the mining sector to see to it that basic information about the country’s geo-physical data and mineral potentials reach the local miners, land owners and community leaders. “We also hope that the policies ensure local communities benefit more from the allocation of revenues from the extractive industry and compliance issues are adequately addressed” he urged.