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President against Ghanaians fronting for foreign miners

Tarkwa (W/R), Aug. 8, GNA – President Nana
Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Tuesday urged Ghanaians to desist from fronting for
foreigners to engage in illegal small scale mining (Galamsey).

He said the laws of Ghana allowed only
citizens and not foreigners to engage in small scale mining.

“Let us abide by our laws… We should not act
as front-men for foreigners in activities solely reserved for Ghanaians,” he
stressed.

President Akufo-Addo gave the caution when he
interacted with the chiefs and people of Tarkwa in the Western Region on the
second day of his three-day tour of the Region.

The tour is to thank the people for the
massive show of support given him and the New Patriotic Party during the
December 2016 general election, and to get first hand their concerns and
suggestions to improve the governance of the country.

The President outlined his government’s
proposal to strengthening the small scale mining industry through the
Multilateral Integrated Mining Project (MMIP).

The MMIP, he said, would be the first holistic
approach in combating illegal mining in Ghana, reduce illegal small scale
mining to the barest minimum and find alternative livelihoods for those
involved.

President Akufo-Addo urged residents of Tarkwa
to ignore the propaganda making the rounds that he intends abolishing mining.

He said the only form of mining he was against
was illegal mining.

With the christening of Ghana’s first modern
city as Elmina, to wit ‘The Mine’ by the Portuguese, President Akufo-Addo
stated that as far back as the 15th century, there was the recognition that
mining was important for the country’s economy.

“Mining is part of our heritage. It is not
under an Akufo-Addo government that mining is going to be abolished. I can
never abolish mining. Those saying I am trying to abolish mining are just doing
propaganda. Mining is an integral part of our country’s heritage,” he said.

The President said what his government could
not allow to happen,  was for illegal
mining to compromise the country’s environment.

“Our lands, water bodies and forests are also
part of our heritage. I swore an oath before the Almighty and before Ghanaians
to govern in accordance with the rule of law, and also to protect the
territorial integrity of our nation. I am mandated by the laws of the land to
protect our lands and water bodies.

“Mining in Ghana, from the times of our
ancestors, have been undertaken without it destroying our water bodies and
lands. The Birim, Densu, rivers we used to drink from as children, have now
been polluted as a result of galamsey. I, as President of the Republic, will
not watch unconcerned whilst a few people destroy our lands and water bodies.”

President Akufo-Addo announced that government
had received a number of proposals for the establishment of a gold refinery at
Tarkwa, adding that “if I was against mining, I would not be putting such
measures in place.”

He also assured residents of Tarkwa about
government’s determination to revive the Bonsa Tyre Factory and the Aboso Glass
Factory, so as to create jobs and wealth for the people.

GNA

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