President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has directed that $5 million out of the total of $6 million fine to be paid by Maxam Ghana Limited, the company at the centre of the explosion that occurred at Apeate, should be donated to the Apeate Support Fund.
The directive follows an administrative fine of $1 million the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources had imposed on the company for regulatory breaches.
A statement released yesterday by the sector Minister, Samuel A. Jinapor, said by law, the $1 million, which constitutes the administrative fine, forms part of the Internally Generated Funds (IGF) of the Minerals Commission.
“The President has, therefore, directed that the additional $5 million, to be paid by Maxam to Government, be donated to the Apeate Support Fund to support the reconstruction of the community. Accordingly, I have directed the Minerals Commission to ensure that the said $5 million is paid to the Apeate Support Fund, in accordance with the agreed terms of payment,” he said.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources imposed a fine of $6 million on Maxam Ghana Limited, and directed that out of the amount, $1 million must be deposited before the restoration of the company’s licence. The remaining $5 million was expected to be paid in equal installments between March 1, 2022, and August 2023.
The Ministry said in a statement that the fine was imposed based on the report submitted by the three-member committee constituted by the Minister to undertake independent investigations into the disaster.
In a swift response, Maxam said based on a different interpretation of the law, it did not believe it committed any regulatory breaches.
The company said in a statement that to ensure the continuity of its business, and to be able to serve its customers and protect the employment of its workers, it would pay the fine imposed by the Minister.
Maxam said it agreed to pay the additional $5million due to its commitment to Ghana and its welfare. The company has also pledged to ensure full compliance with the new regulatory measures announced by the Minster to ensure that its operations are in accordance with the laws of Ghana and international best practices.