Business News of 2014-08-19

Audit proceeds from seized mining equipment – ASMAN

The Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Africa-Network (ASMAN) on Monday called on government to audit all Regional Coordinating Councils (RECs) on the collection and use of levies charged owners of seized illegal Mining equipment and vehicles as part of the work of the inter-ministerial task force.

It alleged that investigations gathered has revealed that an amount of GH¢10,000 and GH¢15,000 are charged respectively for each pick-up vehicle and earth moving equipment (excavator or bulldozer) found to have been engaged in illegal Small Scale Mining activity in the country.

A statement issued in Accra by Edward K. Akuoko, Director, Policy and Research, ASMAN and copied to Ghana News Agency in Accra, alleged that those monies are paid at the respective Regional Coordinating Councils and receipts issued.

It said instead of using these levies to reclaim or re-fill the numerous abandoned pits dug by the alleged illegal mine operators across the length and breadth of the country the pits are left unattended to.

“After more than a year of the operations of the task force and the collection of these monies, host communities of the illegal mining activities are yet to see any conscious efforts by the various RECs to re-fill or reclaim the abandoned pits, thus raising moral issues as to what the monies collected are being used for, hence this call for an audit to ascertain how much has accrued so far and what the monies are being used for.

“The continuous existence of these pits in the host communities poses serious health and environmental threat to the inhabitants as conservative estimates reveal that about seventeen (17) persons...were reportedly killed in abandoned mine pits in the Amansie West district alone in less than a year. Hundreds of similar deaths across the country might have gone unreported,” it added.

ASMAN said it considered it most opportune to draw government’s attention on the need to ensure that these levies collected are accounted for and used for the intended purposes as well.

Source: GNA
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