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NMA boss responds to allegations

…as Audit Report says Le661 unaccounted for

January 16, 2016 By Victoria Saffa

Director-General of the National Mineral Agency (NMA), Sahr Wonday, this week stated that revenue generated by his administration for mineral rights and other regulatory functions were paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund with receipts issued by the National Revenue Authority (NRA).

Mr. Wonday was responding to allegations that the agency did not follow normal government procedures while making payment into the Consolidated Fund.

According to the Audit Report for 2014, the NMA collected over Le661 million between January and December 2014 as revenue from various income streams but the said sum was not paid into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

In his reaction to the report, the NMA Director-General said they only collected fees for processing applications for mineral rights, verification of minerals samples and sealing them for further laboratory verification overseas, printing geological maps for investors and interested stakeholders. He did not, however, confirm whether revenue they collected amounted to the figure stated by the Audit Service report.

He claimed that fees derived from the services rendered covered costs incurred in providing the services on a cost recovery basis, and that the agency utilised some of the funds to meet its operational costs, especially monitoring artisanal mining activities throughout the country.

Also, the Audit Report revealed several unsolved financial issues at the Ministry of Mines and Mineral Resources. They include previous year’s report which indicated that 25 staff did not avail themselves for verification, 15 staff who do not have their NASSIT identification numbers and 5 staff who have attained the retirement age of 60 years but are still receiving salaries.

The Audit Report also states that unclaimed salaries of Mines and Mineral Officers (MMOs) totaling Le18 million was not paid back into the Mines and Mineral Fund account, while payment to the tune of around Le13 million was made to MMOs whose names were not in the approved MMOs staff list.

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