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December 6, 2018 | Opinions Opinion/Feature

Provide Adequate Resources for the Minerals Commission and Dissolve the Inter-Ministerial Committee of Illegal Mining – President Akufo Addo Told

Solomon Owusu, Denver, Colorado, USA
President Nana Akufo- Addo
President Nana Akufo- Addo

Dear Mr. President,

I write to officially express my disappointment in the poor management of illegal mining, popularly known as “galamsey” in Ghana. From the recent Adom TV Badwam morning show on illegal and legal small-scale mining, it is evident that the committee you put together purposely to address the menace has disappointed all Ghanaians. This issue of national concern is purely technical and hence, it is needless for the secretary to continuously jump into political defends just to convince the citizens that all is well. These untruths peddled to deceive the good people of Ghana are just wasting everybody’s time in the country. I therefore suggest that you dissolve the current Inter-Ministerial Committee of Illegal Mining (IMCIM) and rather channel the resources to the Minerals Commission, which is instituted by law to perform its mandate.

Since its inception for close to two years, the IMCIM has not produced any reasonable result but just a committee for breeding corruption left, right, center. The Chairman of the IMCIM, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng and the Secretary, Mr. Charles Cromwell Nanabanyin Onuawonto Bissue have done serious disservice to the nation, making the committee unproductive, irrelevant and waste of taxpayers’ money. I can confidently tell you that the current roadmap submitted to your office is deceptive and cannot solve the environment degradation aspect associated with both illegal and licensed small-scale mining operations in Ghana. The document lacks clear solutions to the main challenges surrounding the pollution of water bodies and land degradation. However, I would suggest that you allow the licensed miners to work under strict monitoring as you use continuous improvement strategies to curb the negativities associated with their operations.

Again, the approach to monitoring the illegal and licensed small-scale mining activities in Ghana is weak, although there are planned drones and “galamstops” put in place to conduct the monitoring. It is all because the responsible appointees drafted a misleading roadmap purposely to generate money in their pockets and not necessarily to address the problem at hand. The IMCIM activities are conflicting with the mandate reposed on the Minerals Commission (Mincom) of Ghana. The Mincom, which constitutes the needed technical men has been instituted by law to supervise small-scale mining activities in Ghana. After close to two years, if a committee set by your high office cannot deliver to the expectation of Ghanaians, Mr. President, what should you do? Are we not wasting time and resources on this incompetent IMCIM?

Your Excellency, small-scale mining business is operated in approximately 45 countries in Africa and over 80 countries across the world. Ghana is not the only country where small-scale mining is operated but our environment is degraded because of weak operating guidelines, ineffective supervision and laziness on the part of the public servants. Based on the experience gained during the due diligence survey my team conducted in the Western and Eastern Regions of Ghana, I am confident that if the right technical people are allowed to steer affairs, this canker can be minimized or eradicated with long term solutions within the shortest possible time. The IMCIM led by Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has failed Ghanaians in producing results for close to two years, as the water bodies are still muddy, hence, the committee should be dissolved to prevent any further waste of our time and resources.

Currently, the illegal miners, including the foreign nationals are working day and night in Ghana amidst the operations vanguard crack down activities. What has the country achieved after the inception of the operations vanguard team? Surprisingly, lots of Ghanaians can’t fathom how the foreigners acquired licenses to operate small-scale mining in Ghana. The ineffective management of the “galamsey” issue has rather created more environmental degradation problems than allowing the licensed small-scale mining companies to operate legally in accordance with a well-structured laid down work procedure. Mr. President, for your information, the licensed small-scale miners are disappointed in you because you promised to regularize their activities to curb the environmental concerns associated with their work when you were then Candidate Akufo-Addo.

After interacting with some of the responsible appointees whose jurisdiction directly cover small-scale mining, during my fieldwork in Ghana between May and August this year, I could realize that your men in authority lack the resources to properly manage the “galamsey” problems. As a true citizen of Ghana, I have by your words declined to be a spectator and therefore, I will entreat your honorable office to attend to the cries of the millions of Ghanaians with regards to the instances of betrayal of trust of the inter-ministerial committee. Please, act and dissolve the IMCIM now. Thank you.

Solomon Owusu

Citizen Vigilante @ Large

Denver, Colorado, USA

(Email: [email protected] , Phone: +1 303 880 3237)

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Solomon Owusu, Denver, Colorado, USA and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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