Chair of the Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas, Dr Steve Manteaw has expressed disappointment in the government for organizing yet another a national consultative dialogue on illegal small scale mining (galamsey).
Dr Manteaw explained that several consultative fora had been organized in the past yet nothing concrete came out of those engagements.
He told TV3 after Day One of the Consultative Forum on galamsey in Accra on Wednesday April 14 that “I am disappointed because of the moneys we have wasted on holding consultative forums such as this. We have spent a lot of money organizing public consultations in Tarkwa on a programme that was dubbed MIIP.
“We didn’t see much come out of that consultative forum then it transitioned to the ASM formalization programme. Again, we haven’t seen much of the ASM formalization programme and then we introduce a new consultative dialogue into the framework. It gets a bit confusing. It creates the impression that we are really not committed in dealing with the problem.”
Dr Manteaw further asked President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to punish persons in his government and party who are neck-deep in illegal small scale mining activities (galamsey) in the country.
Until that is done, he said, the country will not make strides in ending the galamsey menace.
He said “Almost everybody who had a role to play in stemming illegalities in the mining sector were themselves players in the sector, they were themselves people who actually were involved in the illegalities. As a result of that it was difficult to hold people to account.
“I consider that the president is the person with the ultimate power and authority in this country and until he demonstrates that he has the political will to deal with highly placed people in his government and his party who gets involved in illegal mining we won’t go anywhere.”
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has said that he is resolute in enforcing the laws on galamsey in the country.
He said this while delivering a speech at the National Dialogue on Small Scale Mining Wednesday April 14.
“I am determined to enforce the laws on illegal mining no matter the subject, high or low. I will, however, not act on hearsay or mere allegations without more. I will not hesitate to act though where the evidence is hard before the police.
“And I will do so irrespective of the standing of the person or persons involved. That is the true meaning of equality before the law,” he stressed.
“There are aspects of our national life which are of first subject matters of partisan politics. We must however come to the understanding that small scale mining with the requirement to do away with the illegalities in that sector should be beyond partisan politics.
“Some subjects simply cannot be part of our everyday politicking and I use this forum to insist that illegal small-scale mining and matters relating to it should be one of such issues requiring national efforts,” he said.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana