Fixing The Country: Open Letter To The President On Pertinent National Issues On The Front Burner -Part 21

Feature Article Fixing The Country: Open Letter To The President On Pertinent National Issues On The Front Burner -Part 21
SEP 13, 2022 LISTEN

Dear Mr President,

Some pertinent national issues have come on the front burner, so in respond to your clarion for constructive citizens and not spectators, I once again without fear or favour write as part of my contribution in the national deliberations as part of the fixing the Country Agenda especially correcting the wrongs in the Country to ensure our National Executives, namely, the Presidency, Decision Makers, Policy makers, Law Makers, Supervisors or Managers, our esteemed Traditional Rulers steer this great nation of Almighty God in the right direction for the wellbeing and prosperity of mankind

As the Head of National Executive, it is essential that you are motivated frequently for you to rise up to the occasion. Firstly, let me remind you that it is God who chooses a Leader herein, a President for a Country as the Holy Bible asserted at Romans 13:1. To ensure you achieved the aspirations of the Citizenry God gave you a dedicated, competent and religious Deputy, in the person of His Excellency Vice President Dr Muhamadu Bawumia.

So, Mr President, It should now be clear to you that God did so because he felt the duo, His Excellency President Nana Addo and His Excellency Vice President Dr Muhamadu were the best choice out of the other Presidential candidates to navigate his good people from the current doldrums, the causal effects of a combination of COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine War as echoed by the MD of the IMF.

As stated in one of my submissions, we are not in normal times, hence, the Citizenry must stop the childish conduct of comparing the Presidencies (Administrations) of Ghana before a global force majeure like the COVID-19 pandemic and a Presidency of Ghana after the COVID-19 pandemic. Suffice to say, Ghana before the invasion of COVID-19 pandemic (before March 2020) is different from Ghana during the war against COVID-19 pandemic which will also be very different from the era of Ghana after the COVID-19 pandemic with the associated hazards or the repercussions of the ongoing Russia and Ukraine war. Hence we need to draw lessons from the current difficulties (suffering) endured globally, which is occasioned by the combination of COVID-19 pandemic/Ukraine War and changer our attitude of Pull Him Down (PHD) and opt for the philosophy of Patriotism, Honesty and Discipline as propounded by Hon Kennedy Agyapong, so that the citizenry unite behind your leadership to navigate Ghana from the doldrums occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic/ongoing Ukraine War to an economic Upturn state.

Mr President, its heartwarming to note that notwithstanding the senseless remarks which were made by some persons in your Administration that it will be a sin for Ghana to apply to the IMF for a bail out to attain an economic stability, the Managing Director of the IMF, recently spoke openly and directly to the Citizenry on the critical contributory factors to their suffering and went further to a make a promise of the readiness of the IMF to bailout the Country with alacrity, before the end of 2022. This should be regarded as God’s intervention as a measure to assuage the anxiety in the country about the current state affairs. Should this happen and the Country is able to recover, then it will put the pessimists (doomsayers) into shame and may help give a signal that the Citizenry should always think positive and think big.

Mr President, we are not in normal times, so for us to surmount the current hardship, the need for everyone to rally behind you cannot be overemphasized. To do so may require the adoption of the excellent philosophy of Patriotism, Honesty and Discipline (a paradigm of a new or positive PHD to be instilled by all Citizens, this can be achieved through you demo good leadership for all to fall in line. Since the buck stop with the President.

It is heartwarming to know that you and your Deputy did acknowledge the hardship, hence, the Country is Hot. Truly, on the onset of or during the COVID-19 pandemic, you forewarned the Citizenry that you and your Deputy know how to revive a dead economy but not dead persons that may be caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, armed with the experience of the difficult nature of the Citizenry and may therefore not cooperate with the order for the stay at home campaign and use of force like other nations did was not an option, you had to use part of the State coffers or Resources to give free power, free water to support the Citizenry whilst obeying the order to stay at home. The combine effects has made the Country Hot. Hence fixing the Country is now the responsibility of the National Executive with you as the Head. The citizenry also need be informed especially by Traditional and Religious Leaders to fix themselves. Hence positive attitude by both parties is a must. Mr Afryie Wutah’s song ‘Country Hot, Fix the Country and they say fix yourself’ must be adopted as a national Song in the path of the economic recovery.

It was good that as part of the economy recovery Plan and the growth of the economy, Vice President Dr Bawumia concentrated in a digitization and digitalization agenda, which facilitated the utilization of IT including zoom facilities etc whilst the citizenry worked/are working from homes. But for the good work of the Minority Leader of Parliament and his team, the Finance Minister with his initial 1.75% E-levy would have derailed the digitalization agendum of the Vice President Dr Bawumia which among other good reason is to ensure almost or the Citizenry have a Bank Account and use of the Ghana Card for the enjoyment future benefits.

Mr President, as the National Executive is working hard to re-boot the economy the urgent need for a second look at some of the provisions of the Constitution which are adding cost to cost with no benefit and those which have hindered and are hindering national cohesion and development cannot be over-emphasized. At this juncture, let me remind you as stated in one of my submission that the 1992 Committee of Constitutional experts Chaired by Professor Dr SKB Asante, the current Paramount Chief of Asante Asokore which drafted the 1992 Constitution recommended a hybrid Constitution with some executive mandate granted to a President as the titular Head of State/Head of National Executive and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces (Military, Police and other armed state agencies) of Ghana. Per the proposal of Dr SKB Asante’s committee, the whole of Ghana should be the Constituency of the proposed President and he or she was to be the appointing authority for the CDS, Service Commanders and the IGP etc. There was no proposal in the draft report by the Committee of Constitutional experts for a Deputy or Vice President. So in replace of the Vice President was a proposal for a Prime Minister (Primus–inter pares or first among equals of Ministers), elected from just one Constituency, hence from a region in Ghana and was to be the leader of the Majority Party in Parliament.

Per the proposal, the Prime Minister, the senior most Minister or simply Senior Minister that is first among equals (Primus –inter pares) should be the leader of the Majority members of Parliament. Hence your initial appointment of a Senior Minister (hence a shadow or secret Prime Minister was not only unconstitutional but superfluous, a waste of the national purse and above all a rivalry to the Office of the constitutional Vice President. It gave a wrong signal that you made this appointment to sideline the VP in order to give room to the Finance Minister to run the economy by his whims and caprices. it was felt that he disregarded the warning by His Excellency VP Dr Bawumia, your Deputy against the taxation of Mobile Money Transaction and went ahead to initially put 1.75% levy on the MoMo transaction and without proper stakeholders engagement, he embedded it in the 2022 Budget proposals and submitted it to Parliament for approval. The end results of this scenario included the down grading of the outlook of the economy of Ghana to the very weak grade of CCC level by the financial analysts. The nation has learnt a great lesson from these developments, hence never again should we act in that meaner.

To make the Head of the Government to have the whole of Ghana as his Constituency, the Consultative Assembly which deliberated on the draft of the 1992 Constitution kicked against the hybrid Constitutional government, with a Prime Minister, elected by just a Constituency therefore from just one Region as the Head of Government as recommended by the Committee of Constitutional experts and opted for the current Constitutional Presidential system with a Constitutional Vice President as in the 1992 Constitution, who see the whole of Ghana as their Constituency for a very good reason. But per the 1992 Constitution one may right to say that the Vice President (VP) is made to be on a standby to take over from the President as dictated by the 1992 Constitution. Hence the VP must be a nominee of the President, without interference from any one or interference from a system (especially a political party) thus loyalty to the President by the VP is very important.

Despite this situation, sidelining of the Vice President reared its ugly head during almost all regimes in the Fourth Republic. This gives a big question that is do we need a VP. A study of the 1992 Constitution will reveal that both the elected President and his Deputy must not necessary come from a Political Party and thus seemingly protected from the control of a political party. But a Presidential Candidate can be sponsored by a Political Party which is seen as an election winning machinery and a measure to reduce the huge cost of the election. So Mr President the whole of Ghana is your Constituency, so please do well to visit Keta to take see to their calamity occasioned by the tidal waves or the sea during the visit to the Volta Region.

Mr President both the Dr SKB Asante’s Committee of Constitutional Experts and the 1992 Consultative Assembly erred by ceding the Economy Planning segment from the Ministry of Finance and Economy Planning to a seemingly redundant (disused) and or wasteful National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) which incidentally is the Constitutional mandated Economy Management Team which is shockingly not chaired by the Vice President for the function of economy planning but Chaired by any other person nominated by the President other than the VP as by the provisions of Article 86 and Article 87 of the 1992 Constitution respectively.

Mr President the work or the Development plans or recommendations of the NDPC are not binding or used by succeeding administrations because each Presidents in the Fourth Republic or since the promulgation of the 1992 Constitution used his manifesto as presented to the electorate who based on the manifesto elected the President to govern or manage the economy. Hence, the Development plans of the NDPC is not used or roll over in the Administrations of successive Presidents. Hence, a big problem created by Article 86 and Article 87 of the 1992 Constitution, which incidentally is almost a replica of the 1979 Constitution. But, among others, the variation between 1979 Constitution and 1992 Constitution is the numbering of the Articles, Ombudsman in the 1979 Constitution became the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice in the 1992 Constitution. I envisaged that in order to reduce cost the 1979 Constitution at Article 65 restricted the appointment of Ministers by the President to not more than 30 Ministers including cabinet Minister as in Article 65 of the 1979 Constitution also no Minister or Deputy Minister should come from Parliament as in the 1979. Furthermore, Article 47 of the 1979 Constitution mandated the Vice President as the Chairman of the NDPC (which is a Constitutional Economy Management Team). Hence anyone to be selected as the VP must be an educated person, preferably with understanding of economics). Article 86 of the 1992 Constitution on the other hand disrobed the VP from Chairing the NDPC, which is a crucial Economy Management Team as provided by Article 73 of the 1979 Constitution.

Mr President these two provisions of Article 86 and 87 of the 1992 Constitution which ceded establishment and the functions of Economy Planning of the Country to the NDPC have created a huge conundrum (problem) Hence part of the woes of this Country may be attributed to these two bad Articles namely Article 86 and 87 of the 1992 Constitution another serious problem is that both of these two provisions are in Chapter 8 of the of the 1992 Constitution, thus they are also entrenched clauses and therefore can only be amended by a costly referendum. But they must be amended if this Country must succeed in the good management of the Economy. Please check provisions on the NDPC as in Article 73 and Article 74 of the 1979 Constitution and compare with Articles 86 and 87 of the 1992 Constitution and also check for the difficulties stated in the report of the Constitutional Review Commission employed by the Administration of the late Presidential Mills and the corresponding Government’s White on the report for issues that need to be addressed.

Mr President, I am aware that you may wish to satisfy the demand for the amendment of some the provisions of the 1992 Constitution especially Article 243, for the election of the District Chief Executives this is not an entrenched clause, so it is very simple for Parliament to amend Article 243. But please it is recommended you add Articles 86 and 87 of the 1992 Constitution when you are to amend an entrenched Clause. So that either a total removal or deletion of Articles 86 and 87 of the 1992 Constitution from it, thus a return of the Economy Planning function to the Ministry of Finance to re-establish a complete Ministry of Finance and Economy Planning otherwise amend it to read as in the wisdom provided in Articles 73 and 74 of the 1979 Constitution. I will soon re-submit a paper on the 1992 Constitution which though has faults was not made to satisfy the late Papa as considered by some people. It is sad that among those who held the view that the 1992 Constitution was made to please the late Papa J, included respected lawyers and professors. I will also give a strong defence for the maintenance of some Provisions like the appointments by the Executive President, as make a recommendation for us do away with a Standby VP, so that to reduce cost, a minister is appointed by the President or the Cabinet to act in his absence from the Country.

Mr President, the amendment of some of the provisions of the 1992 Constitution at the appropriate time and the immediate transformation and the modernization of the economy by a replacement of the Brigadier General Gordon Goggisburg economy template with a prosperous Template are two determinants for the success of this Country. The global hardship (the great depression since the last 100 years) as occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic tells that we were not and are not/or will not be in normal times as in the era of COVID-19 pandemic and thereafter respectively. Hence, we need to use the lessons learnt from the hardships occasioned by both COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia and Ukraine war to change our attitude for us to navigate from the Doldrums to an upturn level/Ghana beyond Aid. So, we need to do away or minimize the rancor and acrimony with the attended Pull Him Down syndrome and rather unite under your watch, since you are nominated by God as the leader of this great Nation consequently the adoption of philosophy of Patriotism, Honesty and Discipline (a new paradigm of PHD) cannot be overemphasized. Hence, every Tom, Dick and Harry must be motivated by your Leadership for everyone to come on board the Craft with you as the pilot. So you must find a way including using His Excellency Ex-President JA Kofour or the Ashantehene (an excellent peace broker) to bring His Excellency Ex-President Mahama, who has a large following on board as a constructive passenger.

It must be noted that His Excellency ex-President Mahama by virtue of his credential as an ex-Hon MP, ex-VP, and Ex-President is certainly the most seasoned statesman in Ghana and I am sure in the world. Thanks for his recent positive input that by the nation’s application for the support from the IMF for economic stability, it will make the Nation to acknowledge the need for the transformation and modernization of the Agricultural sector, through massive investment in the Sector. So find a good way to get His Excellency ex-President Mahama for an interaction or a lunch with him and others to generate a good optics showing the two Ex-Presidents and you, with or without the presence of the Ashantehene. This may demo a unity in diversity to motivate all persons to come on board the Ship called Ghana for you to navigate us from the doldrums to the upturn level and hand over to the next person as nominated by God. Hence as the father for all, I wish to recommend you minimize the politics of breaking the eight and talk of working hard to hand over a good Ghana to the next nominee of God but with a good work and a prayer it may be your Party’s Presidential Candidate.

Mr President as stated in my submission on Fixing the Country Part 20 dated September 2022, that you can only succeed in conquering an enemy if you know the Characteristics of the enemy and apply the first principle of war or success in Business principle, which is ‘’Selection and Maintenance of Aim’’. So the failure in the combating of the Small Scale Miners is due to the failure of the Officials of the State to understand the characteristics of Small Scale Mining and stop the senseless or cacophonous jargon of illegal mining, because Small Scale Mining globally is characterized as unofficial or off-the- record hence illegal by the definition of unofficial or off-the-record and reason with some of them especially the non-greedy operators who only operating the small scale mining for a living or school fees. We should employ the wisdom of the late Papa J who with the support of the World Bank, after he conducted risk assessment of the situation made him to empathize with some of the operators of Small Scale Mining due to his appreciation of the state of affairs in the Mining sector, So the late Papa came out with a good legislation which isolated those doing the Small Scale Mining for a living as part of poverty alleviation from those especially tycoons doing business in the Small Scale Mining to make a wealth. These were factors considered during the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP)/ Economy Reform or was it a Recovery Programme (ERP) in the 1980s.

Mr President as stated we can only succeed in dealing with the menace in mining sector by the application of common sense in the Mining sector. Hence we need to consider the mining sector also an economy sector, hence the possibility of both formal and informal sectors. Armed with this intelligence, we should categorize the Mining sector into the three sectors of an economy namely the Small Scale Sector, the Medium or Middle Scale Sector and the Large Scale Sector. The Small Scale Sector of the economy, for that reason Small Scale Mining Sector is largely an informal or unofficial or off-the- record sector with poverty alleviation tendencies or working for their living and therefore the Small Scale Miners see their mining operation as God given right to them to escape from their poverty misery. So you may choose to fool yourself and not empathize with the operators who like prostitutes see their operations as a source of livelihood and till they move to an Alternative Livelihood Projects. Hence, to dislodge them one need to get them Alternative Livelihood Projects with short, medium and long time gestation periods.

Hence, we need to behave like the late Papa J and the World Bank who during the Structural Adjustment Programme appreciated the plight of the Small Scale Miners, so he empathized with the operators of the small scale mining and introduced or gave official recognition to Small Scale mining (Galamsey) and enacted Small Scale Mining laws which was then known as Galamsey Law. This was done by the application of two important legal tools namely Legalization (recognition of the Galamsey act or bringing the act into the formal sector or on record, hence legalization was a target or destination to get them operate officially at that time to pay revenue or tax / prevent smuggling, hence criminalize them was not the answer as envisaged by the PNDC) and secondly by Formalization (which is the process or trip to Target or Objective)

So what action did the dreadful Military Administration of the PNDC who could put the fear of God into the Galamsey or artisanal or Small Scale Miners (note the value or the description matches the same issue by the operators only different terms are used) do in 1986.

In the attempt to attract Foreign Direct Investment in the National Economy, the PNDC with the support of the World Bank/IMF came out with the Structural Adjustment Programme which even caused the lay down of a large number of workers including those from the large Scale Mining Companies (the State Gold Mining Companies) and AGC Obuasi (the State then had 50% shares by the good work of the Late General Acheampong as part of his Nationalization and localization agenda). The PNDC established the Mineral Commissions in 1986 and promulgated the Minerals and Mining Law 1986 (PNDCL153) in the Mining Sector.

To bring the small scale miners on record and under strict control (legalization) by the PNDC, Galamsey was legalized, I repeat Galamsey was legalized by the Military Regime when the PNDC included small scale mining laws from Section 77 to the Section 99 of the Minerals and Mining Law 1986 (PNDCL153), which stipulated that Small Scale Mining will only be permissible if and only if it is in the interest or accepted by the affected Community and it must be contingent (dependent) on the use of no sophisticated technology or equipment, no use of substantial amount, no use of explosives and not more than 25 acres will be given to a Cooperative of 10 or more persons and limited to only Ghanaians not more less than 18 years.

Above all a Small Scale Miner must operate within his locality, hence an outsider (person not from the area) including Ghanaians or non-Ghanaians settlers cannot own a Mining Right or Concession, hence no ownership of Small Scale Mining Right at different area but one can work as a menial worker at any location. Hence this was an additional control measure (a master strategy) to ensure acceptance or disapproval by the Chiefs and his people or the Community. So you cannot, I repeat you cannot operate in an area not accepted by the Community whose interest is not for mining but for mainly for farming. Hence, there was no way a person alien to the area, be he/she a Chinese or a businessman from outside the affected like say Kumasi or Accra can operate Small Scale Mining. So, the businessmen from Kumasi etc were compelled to register as gold buyers and sponsored or barons or to finance the operations to buy the gold from the miners. Which was also seen as a problem.

Mr President, as part of the formalization of Small Scale Mining programme, the very sensible Military regime of the PNDC came out with the final law name the Small Scale Gold Mining Law 1989 (PNDC215) in 1989 and the Precious Minerals Marketing Company was established in 1989 and the Small Scale Miners were required by the law to sell their Gold to the Precious Minerals Marketing Company which was also required to register and support gold buyers to buy the gold for it. Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) was initially required to support the Small Scale Miners and take 2.5% or a percentage to meet the backfilling and revegetation of damaged or disturbed lands. Due to mistrust the idea of the PMMC taking 2.5% from the gold sales by the Small Scale Miners was dropped. Hence, small scale mining then did not cause massive destruction or deviation of the rivers, and massive destruction of the environment. Note no massive destruction between 1986 (year of the initial Minerals and Mining Law 1986 (PDNCLaw153) and 2006 that the year that saw the amalgamation of all the Mining Laws before 2006 into the Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act 703), hence no massive destruction within 21 years. But note mining at small scale level started before 1471 (the arrival of Diego De Azambujah from Portugal, so between 1471 and 2006 or so that is a period of 535 years.

Sir, as usual pardon me to disclose my experience that is due to the complex security issues in the Mining Sector, in 2004, I initiated the establishment of the Security Committee of the Ghana Chamber of Mines Security Committee by selling the idea to Dr Joyce Aryee, then CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines and got the Bogoso Gold Mine to host the maiden and second meeting at the Bogoso Mine, the Committee contributed in bringing issues of Small Scale Mining to the front burner. So, in 2005, due to the problem of small scale mining activities in Prestea etc, I initiated the need for the National anti-illegal mining operation conducted by the then President Kofour‘s Administration to flash out the illegal miners in the Concessions of Mining Companies. So, the 2005 Operation Flush Out was organized due to the request by the Ghana Chamber of Mine which paid the major cost to remove illegal miners from the Concessions of Large Scale Mining Companies. The current CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines and the current CEO of the COCOBOD, who was then the Western Regional Minister and one Mr Blay, the then Security Coordinator to the Western Regional Security Council can authenticate my claims. So I have dossiers on Small Scale Miners.

Mr President, the big question is what went wrong that made Ghana to suffer for this situation in the Mining Sector? Or Why did the Nation through the Minerals Commission and Forestry Commission or the Responsible Ministry sleep at their work and allowed business tycoons including my son Chairman Wontumi and other business tycoons who are simply interested in making wealth from Mining business allowed to operate in a Small Scale Mining Sector most of them with the collaboration with foreigners since mining is capital intensive.

Cry the Beloved Country, Oh, my God how are we that so stupid to allow one person with more excavators than all excavators used by all the Large Small Scale Mining Companies members of the Ghana Chamber of Mines to operate in the Small Scale Mining Sector meant for Galamsey operations that is gather and sell using the implements mostly with spades or broom or no sophisticated equipment and no use of substantial money to cause massive destruction.

Mr President you need to Google for the definition for Scale Mining or Small Scale Miner or contact the World Bank for their understanding and description of Small Scale Mining and you will be clear that Galamsey is Small Scale Mining and Small Scale Mining is Galamsey and the Small Scale Mining Sector is an informal sector operated by millions of people as part of poverty alleviation. It is the same in South Africa, Tanzania, China, Mongolia, Brazil etc. Small-scale Mining by definition and mode of operation globally is regarded or associated as a disaster sector, hence international emergency area which the UN, USAID, IMF, World Bank, some environmental NGOs have been granting donors to combat it. So, why did Ghana remove herself from the donor support?. It is or was due to our stupidity with the ambiguous Small Scale mining law made in 2006 as sections 81 to 99 of Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act 703).

Mr President it took the State 5 years from 2010 to 2015 to respond to call by the Ghana Chamber of Mine Security Committee (in 2010) for amendment of the very weak or useless small scale mining laws under section 99 of Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act 703), which was done in 2015 with Section 99 of Act 900 of 2015 by his Excellency President Mahama. It also took 4 years for you to personally detect a problem with the law and came out with Section 99 of Act 995 of the 2019.for stiffer punishments for small scale mining offences, hence it took us 13 years from 2006 to 2019 to do act properly

. Mr President to further demo our stupidity, we have passed good laws but our Prosecutors have been using dead or disused laws to charge offences against small scale mining. So the most shocking and very annoying matter is that Aisha Hung has been charged with a dead or repealed law which was replaced in 2015 with section 99 of Act 900 and further amended in 2019 with section 99 of ACT 995, So what is the rational for charging her under a dead (repealed) law and put the blame on a poor judge when he award a lesser punishment and most annoying no confiscation of equipment by this dead law. Ian any case was she arrested at her house or at a mining site, so a good lawyer should check and use better charges against the exact offence committed by her.

So let us do away with the hypocrisy, deceit and dishonesty, incompetency, therefore the corruption in the system, get the Minerals Commission to come out with a Medium Scale Mining Sector for the business men like Chairman Wontumi and other business tycoons to operate under strict laws and good monitoring by the security agency especially the Military because the whole of Ghana is the Internal Security Area of the Ghana Army hence the Army Commander, EPA, Mineral Commission the Inspectorate Division, Forestry Commission and the Water Resources Commission. We need to bring sanity in the mining sector at low or minimum cost hence we must act swift and brutal to be the fear of God in all.

The Minerals Commission must be required to novate the so called Registered Small Scale Miners with their Companies to operate within the Medium Scale Mining Sector. The affected Companies to operate similar to the conditions by the Large Scale Mining Companies but at a lower cost (say tax, minimum investment say GHC500,000.00), as required by the State. The Minerals Commission to give a list of Registered Medium Scale Mining Companies and the dos and don’ts to the Commanding Officer responsible for the area to ensure compliance. The operator of permitted or licensed Medium Scale Mining Company must be made to report to Commanding Officer responsible for the area for him to designate an Officer to see the DCE/District Mining Committee and the Chief and elders of his area of responsible and together with the District Mining Committee they should check the Site and mount a billboard to designate as such. Equipment to the area must require the prior approval of the Commanding Officer and must be escorted to the Site.

At the same time give two weeks ultimatum for the stoppage of small scale mining activities including Community Mining or show the areas of Community Mining to/grant permission for Community Mining through the Commanding Officer whose internal operation area is affected. After that, declare 14 days State of Emergency including curfew at the affected areas of small scale mining activities and give an executive order to the CDS to halt small scale mining operations within 14 days. But please get legal authority from the Chief Justice or Parliament for the military to destroy all equipment on site and get Scrap dealers to come and buy them as Scrap also within a further 14 days. Monies from the scrap to be collected by GRA Official or as deem fit.

Either you employ private security Companies under the supervision and support by the Commanding Officer responsible for the area to protect the liberated the area as submitted in my previous paper to you in 2017. And or the liberated areas should be assigned to the DCE and the District Security Committee thus including the Rep of the Commanding Officer as well as the District Mining Committee, the Traditional leaders and the Community for protection through joint monitoring. With the Military and the Police dominate the affected areas with day and night patrols.

Concurrently, get the Ministry of Agric/Minerals Commission for the transition of some of the affected persons within a community to Alternative Livelihood Projects like what USAID is doing for small scale miners in Ivory Coast with the cashew nut farms, rearing of rabbit, fish farming, avocado and oil palm plantations etc. Seek support from USAID and other bilateral donors for the Alternative Livelihood Projects and let the Military be responsible for that

Support the establishment of Community Mining. But minimize the involvement of political actors, so use the Minerals Commission etc, so that in event of change of administration between NDC and NPP, this should not be an area of turf war like what happened with the seizures or occupations of public toilets when a different political party comes on power.

Mr President, the fight against Small Scale Mining (illegal or unofficial mining) cannot be successful if the culprits are not charged with the current laws (offences) which must be combined with a very a good work by the Prosecutors for the Judge to award the right punishments and thus help bring the menace under control. So, It is very sad that the prosecutor for Aisha Hung alleged involvement in illegal mining operation has used a dead or repealed charge of section 99 of the Minerals and Mining law 2006 (Act 703) instead of applying Section 99 of the Minerals and Mining Act 2019 (Act 995) as amended which even repealed Section 99 Minerals and Mining Act 2015 (Act 900). This is part of the problem why we are not making success in the fight against the illegal mining. Stakeholders engagement is key in governance. The Prosecutors and the Judgers at the affected areas need a seminar on the matter

The continue used of the repealed laws or charges by the Police or prosecutors confirms the saying by His Excellency Vice President Dr Bawumia that most Ghanaians do not read at or lack of understanding of issues otherwise they just want to be dishonest with mischievous acts with some with an attempt to hoodwink or satisfy their paymasters by jumping into a matter and run amok with it, especially when they perceived it to be likely associated with corruption. So this lead to issues with the Auditor General Report for 2021. The recent action of the CSOs to get Auditor General to surcharge perceived or alleged persons who have caused irregularities was wrong because it was premature or too early to do because it should be by the procedure required by Constitution. Hence the action was unconstitutional or irregular, they need to read the Constitution very well. Yes I am aware of the Supreme Court for the surcharge of offenders but a procedure must be followed. More to that in my next submission and you will support my assertion. But let me say that an initial study of the breakdown of the alleged huge amount of GHC17.1Billion as termed as cash irregularities in the 2021 Budget Reports of the Auditor General which the media and CSOs wrongly attributed the total amount to corrupt acts will demo they CSOs lacked understanding of auditing matters (risk assessment or analysis) especially the wording of irregularities in an Audit report.

An audit or risk analysis is based among others but two factors, firstly Substance (Budget within or overrun, amount involved and limitation of usage or expenditure approval limit or budget limit, or expected revenue/revenue made or got in the year. Secondly is Process that is whether regulation was followed. Hence was the procedure followed and what was the amount involved for not doing so, any loss) The public must be made to understand the term irregularities in an Audit report which include actions not per Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) or rules, delays, any genuine human error, inability to act. So let take the issues of the Northern Electricity Department cash irregularity of GHC2.8 Billion and that of ECG. Some of the irregularities were occasioned by customers of postpaid meters not paying their bills power consumed. Not able to collect the power debt is an irregularity by auditors. That is why ECG is battling with the people of Somanya to pay their power bills or fix pre-paid meters to make consumers pay in time. In the report, we also have cost of expired drugs say COVID-19 pandemic drugs which were bought or donated to Ghana but expired because the public not ready to go for the vaccines, hence there is nothing a Doctor of a Hospital can do aside seeking the support of the NCCE or the media to make announcement and encourage the citizens who are yet to be vaccinated to report for it. These were some of the examples of irregularity for the Auditor to give his control measures or recommendations etc.

Hence, not all irregularities may be attributed to corruption because some as stated maybe genuine or accepted. Sir, Ex-President Mahama must be very careful with some of his utterances on the report. He should note so far 20% of the debt emanated during his administration and even that of the late Mills Administration. Example of the cash irregularity emanating from case in 2011 in the regime of the late President Mills/ex-President Mahama era which led to a judgment debts but it was determined by a Court in 2021 example over ¢2.4Billion as court awarded against the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) GBC after Mr Ampem-Darko then Director-General of GBC sued the National Media Commission (NMC) for wrongful termination of his contract and that to be paid to some staff of GBC.