Hon. Saa Emerson Lamina, Member of Parliament representing Kono District and also Chairman of the Mines and Mineral Resources Oversight Committee in Parliament handed to Constituents and local authorities of Gbense Chiefdom a cheque with the whooping sum of Old Leone 174, 168, 000 being surface rent paid by Seawright and Meya mining companies. The ceremony that attracted a mammoth crowd of beneficiaries and local stakeholders was held at the main barray of the Gbense Administrative Council in Koidu City.

The attendees included but not limited to: Mr. Mohamed Jabbie who represented the Gbense Chiefdom authorities, the SLPP Cluster/Constituency Chairman and Chairlady, Allieu B. Jalloh and Haja Martha Bayraytay, respectively, the SLPP Cluster Young Generation Leader, Alhassan Fyle, Councillor Sahr Saquee, Martha Feas, Mohamed Yeroh Bah, Emmanuel Gbekesewa, Civil Society Activist Ibrahim Bockarie and Madam Betty Kona.

Each made soul-touching statements highlighting the level of transparency displayed by Hon. Lamina and urged the respectively Mining Companies to do more.
In his goodwill message to the people of Gbense Chiefdom, Hon. Lamina outlined the ethos of the EITI framework and implementation in mining communities.
He paid tribute to the stakeholders of the land, and commended President Julius Maada Bio for assenting to what he referred to as “the most progressive Mines and Minerals Development Act of 2023 ever in the history of mining in Sierra Leone”, which, he pointed out, secures 10% Free Carriage Interest for the state from mining royalties; at least 1% Community Development Agreement Fund, a Ring-fenced Mining District Development Fund, a whooping 70% Surface Rent for land owners, 10% Administrative Cost to Paramount Chiefs and 10% withheld for the Primary Host Member of Parliament as enshrined in section 36 of the Mines Act. He however stressed the need to uphold the EITI framework and the Local Content Policy in protecting and preserving the rights of women and children in the various mining communities.

While delivering the cheque, Hon. Lamina entreated his cluster stakeholders to judiciously implement the stalled projects he had initiated during the last administration to their completion in the interest of the communities and their peoples.

The ceremony was spiced with pomp and pageantry, characterised by traditional drumming, dancing and singing.

Credit: Fiama Yombo
Dundukor Meimewa.