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Government to spend GH¢500 million to implement MMIP

By Godwill
Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Tarkwa
(WR), July 19, GNA – Government would spend about GH¢500 million (US$150
million) in the next five years to implement the Multilateral Mining Integrated
Project (MMIP).

The
project, which is expected to commence by the end of 2017, is estimated to cost
GH¢100 million annually.

Mr
John Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, made this known
on the sidelines of a National Validation Workshop on the MMIP in Tarkwa in the
Western Region on Wednesday.

The
five-year project has five components namely; review and enforcement of legal
and regulatory regime, reclaiming degraded lands, dredged silted estuaries and
waterways and free lands for agribusiness, and implement social interventions
to facilitate livelihoods creation in mining communities.

It
also involves adoption of appropriate technology to ensure efficient mining,
processing, environmental and monitoring activities and capability building of
artisanal small-scale miners, regulatory institutions and project management as
well as communications.

The
project document was developed government through the Ministry of Lands and
Natural Resources, the Minerals Commission and the JFK Consultant.

Mr
Amewu, earlier in an address, said it would require sustainable and concerted
efforts by all stakeholders, to effectively and efficiently resolve the
phenomenon of illegal small-scale mining.

According
to him, illegal mining was a multifaceted challenge and would not only rely on
combative approach but adopt an integrated approach based on the lessons of
previous initiatives working closely with various stakeholders.

The
Minister said illegal mining had taken international dimension with Ivory Coast
complaining about the effects of polluted water bodies having rippling effects
on their lagoons and warned that if nothing was done to halt the menace, it
would affect diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Mr
Amewu noted that government was not against mining but the methodology being
used by some elements in the industry had resulted in unbridled destruction of
the environment.

He
urged traditional authorities, development partners, civil society
organisations, mining associations, opinion leaders and all well-meaning
Ghanaians to rally behind the government to halt galamsey once and for all.

“Ghana
has been championing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs) therefore we will not allow the activities of illegal mining to derail
the gains made so far,” he said.

He
said mining contributed 16 per cent of the Ghana Revenue Authority’s domestic
tax collection in 2016 and small-scale mining alone contributed 31 percent of
that revenue, saying mining was contributing significantly towards the
socio-economic development of the nation.

There
were syndicate group discussions on the various components of the MMIP to
solicit stakeholders’ inputs into the project before its final implementation.

The
meeting attracted key stakeholders including directors of Ministries
Departments and Agencies, traditional authorities, civil society organisations,
development partners, members of Parliament and the media.

GNA

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