President Akufo-Addo’s nominee for the Lands and Natural Resources ministry, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has indicated that the Akufo-Addo government’s commitment to the fight against illegal mining (Galamsey) remains unabated and that when given the nod as the sector minster he will ensure that the fight is won.
He said despite the challenges, the fight to rescue the country’s water bodies from illegal miners is not negotiable and that he will work to ensure that issues of galamsey becomes a thing of the past.
Jinapor said this when he took his turn at the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.
In 2017 President Akufo-Addo declared ‘war’ against illegal miners with the promise to put his presidency on the line for it if that becomes necessary.
His declaration was amidst new measures such as the deployment of police and military personnel to arrest illegal miners across the country and the introduction of a community mining programme aimed at regulating small-scale mining in communities in an environmentally sustainable manner.
But recent media reports have shown that water bodies that were regaining their natural state at the height of the fight against galamsey were becoming polluted again due to the increasing activities of illegal mining in various parts of the country.
According to the minister nominee, “In every dispensation, when you’re rolling out new policies, especially when you’re dealing with intricate sectors such s small-scale mining, you’ll have problems. I have taken time to study a lot of literature and noted that all the previous ministers encountered lots of challenges”.
He said “You’ll often have party people and lots of big wigs fighting against the process. What is important is that the president is absolutely committed to making an impact in this illegal small-scale mining industry”.
Even though the Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM) headed by the former Minister for Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng has been dissolved, Abu Jinapor told the committee that he will apply the law firmly against individuals who engage in galamsey.
“There is no doubt that you will often have people in your own party and chiefs trying to frustrate the fight against galamsey but I want to give a firm assurance that if I get the approval of Parliament, I’m moving in there with all humility and modesty to apply the law without few or favour.” he noted.