Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has promised to tackle the challenges associated with illegal mining activities popularly known as “galamsey”.
During his vetting on February 24, 2021, Mr. Jinapor, the MP for Damango Constituency, told the Appointments Committee that if given the nod, he would deal with the challenge- that continue to frustrate the works of the Ministry- without fear or favor.
He noted, his refusal to do so would mean setting himself up for failure.
“I want to give a firm assurance that I am very clear in my mind. If I get the approval from the House, I am moving in there with all humility [and] apply the law without fear or favour. If I don’t do this, I am setting myself up for failure,” he told the Appointments Committee.
The MP nevertheless, admitted that the Ministry’s effort to tackle the problem of illegal mining has always been hindered by political party bigwigs and or government officials.
“In such crusade, in such fight, you will come across challenges, stumbling blocks, we all know it. It happened under NDC. It happened under NPP. You will have party people, party bigwigs who will want to frustrate the situation.”
To deal with the menace, the Minister-designate noted that it would be necessary to start with the “concept of community mining.”
“I think we need to pursue the concept of community mining. I’ve looked at the literature. Ive read the briefings. I have examined the situation and I am persuaded that the perfection and ramping up of community mining in our country will go a long way in dealing with the incidences of illegal small scale mining,” he said.
Mr Jinapor also believes the Minerals Commission would have to be reformed to enhance their operations and improve upon their service delivery to the nation.
“I don’t by any means suggest that the Minerals Commission has not done any good job. They have done their best in the circumstances but I think the next phase of our efforts should be about how we are going to reform the operations of the Minerals Commission so that their services would be readily available and also for us to be able to promote community mining,” the MP for Damango said.
He added that the Ministry needs the support of the chiefs, local authorities and the miners. Therefore, if given the nod, he will lead the Ministry to engage all stakeholders to help regulate the activities of small scale miners.
“If I get the approval of this house, I intend to visit the mining communities myself as Minister leading the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry to engage mining communities, actors and stakeholders so that we can construct broad base coalition and support around this national policy of a viable, sustainable, lawful and regulated small scale mining in Ghana” he told the committee.
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