The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has rubbished claims by the Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Hon. Alhassan Suhuyini, that the Ministry spent Ten Million Ghana Cedis (GHS10,000,000.00) on ten conferences and dialogues in the fight against galamsey.
Speaking at the last sitting of Parliament on Tuesday, April 5, 2022, the MP alleged that the Ministry spent GHS10,000,000.00 on ten conferences and dialogues on how to fight galamsey and questioned how effective these dialogues and conferences have been to the fight against galamsey.
However, in a Statement released by the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry it said indicated that the allegation is false and has no factual basis.
It says the Ministry’s expenses on the fight against illegal mining is not limited to conferences and dialogues, but include other policies and programmes like the establishment of a Monitoring and Evaluation Team, together with a Situation Room, to receive reports of illegal mining and act swiftly on them.
The introduction of the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme (NAELP) and the introduction of the Small Scale Miners Award Scheme to encourage responsible mining.
Others include revamping of the Community Mining Schemes, the establishment of Small Scale Mining Committees in the various mining districts across the country, the resourcing of the Minerals Commission, and the introduction of the mercury-free gold katcha to process gold.
On the dialogues, the Statement says the holding of the National Dialogue on Small Scale Mining was pursuant to the call by the President of the Republic, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for a national dialogue on illegal mining to agree on a common non-partisan approach to fight the menace.
According to the Ministry, although the National Dialogue resolved that regional dialogues be held in all sixteen (16) regions, Ministry decided, as a way of prudently managing the public purse, to group the regions and hold zonal dialogues, of which one was held in Kumasi for the forest zone and another in Tamale for the savannah zone.
In addition to these dialogues, the Statement says the Ministry undertook a working tour to all sixteen (16) regions and engaged stakeholders to support the fight against galamsey.
Among the stakeholders engaged include the Council of State; the National House of Chiefs; the Regional Houses of Chiefs of all sixteen regions; Regional Ministers, Regional Security Councils (REGSECs) of the sixteen regions; the Ghana Chamber of Mines; the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM); Civil Society Organisations in the mining sector; and miners in the field.
The Statement says all these engagements were fully funded by the Ministry, and in addition, the Ministry provided some funding to the REGSECs to assist in the fight against galamsey in the regions.
The Statement says it expects the relevant state agencies responsible for auditing the accounts of the Ministry to do their work at the appropriate time.