The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, has stated that the nation required a broad-based non-partisan approach to clamp down on the illegal small-scale mining activities, which has contaminated river bodies, among other challenges.
He said his outfit would tap into the knowledge and expertise of chiefs, opinion leaders, political parties, and security agencies, among other stakeholders, to stop the illegal mining, otherwise known as galamsey, once and for all.
Mr Jinapor gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy call on Mr Kwabena Okyere-Darko Mensah, the Western Regional Minister in Sekondi, on Monday, to begin his two-day tour of the Region.
Mr Jinapor noted that the Region was very critical to the development of the country because it was the hub of the country’s natural resource base, and therefore, must rally the chiefs, security agencies and all relevant stakeholders to fight with a united front.
He said, for instance, the Ministry’s directives and policies would remain just a decision unless the security agencies enforced the law on mining to halt the menace.
“All the policy reforms and directives of the Ministry will remain at that level unless the law enforcement agencies enforce the laws and regulations and work with a united front to utilise our natural resources for the benefit of all Ghanaians,” he said.
The Minister said the President had given his unalloyed support to halt the galamsey menace and was prepared to provide the requisite support to that cause.
Mr Kwabena Okyere-Darko Mensah, the Regional Minister, said his outfit was poised for action, especially as the President had tasked the regional ministers, and metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives to get on board to ensure a lasting solution.
He asked the Minerals Commission to speed up the issuance of licensing regime for mining concessions to prevent any illegal activities.
The Minister held a closed door meeting with members of the Regional Security to strategise ways of ending the menace.
He was accompanied by two deputy ministers designate – Benito Owusu Bio and George MirekuX Duker, technical directors at the Ministry, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey, Acting CEO of Minerals Commission Mr Martin Ayisi as well as members of the Select Committee on Lands and Mines of Parliament.