Deputy Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture, Francis Kingsley Ato Kudjoe, has accused the erstwhile John Mahama led government of seizing excavators on mining sites during its tenure in office. He said the seized excavators were never accounted for by administration.
The Minister’s comment is in connection with a statement made on the Floor of Parliament by the Member of Parliament for the Tamale North Constituency, Alhasaan Suhuyini on environmental degradation.
However, Member of Parliament for the Bulsa South Constituency, Clement Apaak debunked the accusation by the Deputy Minister. He stated that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) never siezed excavators from illegal miners.
The Legislator stated that on no account did the NDC Administration siezed excavators belonging to the Ashanti Regional Chairman as stipulated by the Deputy minister.
“Mr speaker, the last speaker made some comments that needs to be corrected. He sought to accuse the former president John Mahama of confiscating excavators belonging to their Ashanti regional chairman and not accounting for them; Mr speaker this can not be true,” he stated.
According to Apaak, President Akufo-Addo has “failed woefully in the fight against ‘galamsy’ and he should accept the defeat”.
In the statement Suhuyini provided reasons for which he thinks the Ghana ought to be sad.
“According to Global Forest Watch in April 2019, the rate of deforestation in Ghana was estimated at 60% which made it the worst in the World, largely due to illegal mining activities”.
He said the Ghana Water Company has served notice that, if illegal mining is not checked, Ghana will import portable water in the next two decades.
“They have been compelled lately to intermittently shut down some of their treatment plants or report increases in cost of chemicals and equipment repairs in order to continue to be in a position to supply treated water to our homes and work places,” the Legislator added.
He said the destruction of farmlands especially cash crops, owing to illegal mining remains a constant feature in print and audio visual stories and in the country side.
He told the House that government through Parliament has committed millions of the tax payers money to streamline illegal mining for Sustainable Development.
“According to the finance ministry, a quarterly amount of GHC 33,423,996 was released to the Inter Ministerial Committee to help in the galamsey fight”.
He therefore questioned the direction of the campaign against illegal mining and commitment of officials especially polictians to the success of the campaign.
The Honorable Member suggested to the House to show more interest in how funds approved for exercises to the various institutions are being used.
“Mr Speaker, in the face of what is clearly less than a successful campaign, I suggest humbly that your parliament also shows more interest in how funds approved for this exercise to the various institutions have truly been expended and the results attained, for these are funds belonging to the people whose interest we in all humility represent”.