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18 July 2017

We’ll not relent in galamsey fight – Nana Addo

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has reiterated his government’s commitment to the fight against illegal mining activities in the country.

A media-led campaign, spearheaded by Citi FM was taken up by the government who stepped up the campaign by initiating some measures to deal with the menace.

One such step was a 6-month ban on small-scale mining and a temporary halt on the issuance of new mining licences in order to allow the natural bodies, degraded by the activities of illegal miners to recover.

The sector Minister also recently ended a nationwide tour of some galamsey sites to ensure compliance with his directive.

However, questions have been asked in recent times about whether the government was losing steam following its initial efforts to combat galamsey.

A former Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Kwabena Mintah Akandor, suggested that the efforts of the new government to address the problem have not yielded any significant results.

“Moving from one place to the other is not fighting galamsey, you are a minister, for how long can you be moving from one place to the other. For me, the approach is totally wrong. We don’t fight galamsey with ultimatums and jumping from one place to the other. We fight galamsey with laws,” he told Citi News

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However, addressing the press on Tuesday, Nana Addo said that he and his Ministers remained as committed as ever to ensuring the exploitation of the country’s mineral resources doesn’t result in the destruction of the country’s land.

“Easily, the headline subject [since we came into government] has been the fight against galamsey. I’m glad that the majority of our compatriots have recognised the dangers posed to the existence of our nation by the practice of galamsey. I’ve said before that since [God] has blessed our land with mineral resources, we can’t do without mining and we have the right to exploit the minerals in our land. But we cannot and should not destroy our lands and water bodies and the environment in the search for gold and other minerals,”

“I’m grateful that the majority of people and the media have lent their support to the fight against galamsey. I’m hoping that the program to restore the degraded lands will attract the same enthusiasm. For my part, I will not relent in the struggle nor will the cabinet committee headed by the Environment Minister, Prof Frimpong Boateng which is spearheading government’s efforts in this fight.”

Nana Addo had earlier stated that he was willing to incur the wrath of potential voters and put his Presidency on the line by continuing the fight against galamsey.

Speaking at Soabe in the Eastern Region he said:  “I have been told some of the people engaged in illegal mining, have threatened to vote against the NPP in 2020, if I crack the whip on the culprits. I am more concerned about fulfilling God’s purpose and devising measures to propel the nation’s development. That’s my focus and not election related issues.”

By: Edwin Kwakofi/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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