Land Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor has rejected claims that the Nana Akufo-Addo government is against small scale mining in the country.
Abu Jinapor says the government is rather committed to promoting sanitized and regulated mining in the country to provide jobs for citizens.
Speaking at a media engagement after touring some river bodies in the Western and Central Regions in the company of Information and Water Resources Ministers, Abu Jinapor said the government will not allow illegal mining activities which negatively impact the environment including water bodies to be undertaken.
“President Akufo-Addo and his government are not against mining in Ghana neither are we against small scale mining. In fact, on the contrary, we want to promote small scale mining, and we want to do so on a regulated basis and responsible manner that does not compromise our water bodies and environment”, he said.
The government recently renewed its commitment to fight illegal mining and a National Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining where stakeholders charged the government to take steps to strictly apply the country’s mining laws.
A communiqué issued at the end of the event highlighted key agreements and concessions made by the about 14 stakeholders who agreed that the government must work to apply the sanctions and penalties imposed by Mining Act 995 to anyone who breaks the mining law and that this must be done without fear or favour.
Former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Inusah Fuseini, has attributed some struggles with illegal mining to tedious bureaucracy and the cost of formalization.
He is of the view that these factors sometimes serve as a disincentive for persons considering legal avenues for small scale mining.
“The miner goes to apply, and it takes him two years to get the licence. Even before he goes to dig the ground, he’s already very indebted to the lender, so there is pressure, a push for him to engage in illegal activity. We must reduce the time it takes to give a licence”, he emphasized.
Give Ghanaians real action on galamsey, not soundbites – Sam George to Akufo-Addo
Member of Parliament (MP) for Ningo-Prampram, Mr. Sam Nartey George, had urged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to stop the rhetoric and hit the ground running in the galamsey fight.
In his view, President Akufo-Addo is only paying lip service to the fight against illegal small-scale mining, locally known as galamsey, instead of fighting it head-on.
According to him, the president is only giving Ghanaians nice “soundbites rather than real action”.
The Ningo-Prampram lawmaker insisted that those behind the menace are either government appointees or person aligned to the governing New Patriotic Party and thus urged the President to crack the whip to serve as a deterrent to others.
“Mr. President, it is your party national executives and regional executives, your party people, your presidential staffers, your former ministers who are engaged in the galamsey menace. They are the people carrying out small-scale mining and destroying our water bodies. So Mr. President, put your money where your mouth is. If you want to fight galamsey, deal with your own appointees. Stop giving us soundbites and give us real action.”