The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has rubbished claims by the Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhuyini, that it spent GHS10,000,000 on 10 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 on 10 conferences and dialogues on how to fight galamsey and questioned how effective these dialogues and conferences have been in the fight against galamsey.
However, in a statement released by the Public Relations Unit of the Ministry on 7 April 2022, the ministry said the allegation is false and has no factual basis.
It said 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.
The 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 said the holding of the national dialogue on small scale mining was pursuant to the call by President 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 16 regions, the 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 said the Ministry undertook a working tour to all 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 16 regions; Regional Ministers, Regional Security Councils (REGSECs) of the 16 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 said 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 noted that it expects the relevant state agencies responsible for auditing the accounts of the Ministry to do their work at the appropriate time.