The Minority in Parliament has alleged that the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry has used over ¢10 million to organise a national dialogue on the government’s fight against small-scale mining also known as galamsey.
With the challenges posed by illegal mining to the mining industry, the Ministry organised a National Consultative Dialogue in Accra, Tamale, and Kumasi on small-scale mining to solicit views, proposals, and suggestions on how to deal with the threat of ‘galamsey’ in the country.
But speaking on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, the Deputy Ranking Member on the Lands Committee, Alhassan Suhuyini argued that the budget for the dialogue is outrageous, insisting misappropriation of funds by the ministry.
According to the Tamale North MP, the Ministry spent an amount of ¢2,140,000 on the national consultative dialogue in Accra, another ¢3.7 million on the dialogue held in the Northern and middle belt, and another ¢5.4 million on Regional tours on illegal mining by the Ministry.
“All of these put together Mr. Speaker we are talking about more than ten conferences and dialogue and this is a document from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources during the consideration stage of the 2022 Budget statement. Mr. Speaker ¢10 million just on conferences and dialogue on how to fight Galamsey in this country. How does this impact the fight against Galamsey?” he quizzed.
The Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor in an interview on GBC’s Breakfast Show in January this year said it requires more than a decade’s effort for Ghana to be free of ‘galamsey’.
“We are not out of the woods yet. We have not gotten to a satisfactory stage yet. We have not gotten to a situation we can say that we have a full grip on the issue of illegal small-scale mining in our country.
“I’ll be the first to admit that it wouldn’t take 4,5, 8, or 10 years to rid our country of illegal scale mining completely,” he said on GBC Breakfast Show.
During the interview, Mr. Jinapor noted that despite the many challenges posed by illegal small-scale mining, the government has chalked some success in the fight against illegal small-scale mining in the country.
“We will also have to admit that we have made considerable gains and we have gotten to a point where we can reasonably be encouraged that a better framework and the building blocks have been put in place to deal with this menace.
“I’m talking about matters to do with how you acquire licenses, whether you do that online, the whole issue of community mining, inspectorate division of the Minerals Commission, issues to do with exploration for mineralized concessions.,” he said.