Galamsey: I’ll apply the law without fear or favour- Jinapor

Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources Samuel Abu Jinapor has noted all the past sector ministers had problems fighting the illicit small scale mining (Glamsey) because supporters of the incumbent party and other big wigs were fighting against the process.

He indicated that if given the nod to become the sector minister, he will apply the law without fear or favour in order to nip this practice in the bud.

He said this during his vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Wednesday February 24.

“In every dispensation, when you’re rolling out policies, especially dealing with intricate sectors such as small-scale mining, you’ll have problems.

“I have taken time to study a lot of literature and noted that all the previous ministers encountered lots of challenges. You’ll often have party people and lots of big wigs fighting against the process,” the Damongo lawmaker told the committee.

He added “I agree that you will often have people in your own party and chiefs trying to frustrate the [fight against illegal mining] but I want to give a firm assurance that if I get the approval of Parliament, I’m moving in there with all humility and modesty to apply the law without few or favor.”

Regarding the missing excavators, Mr Abu Jinapor, told the Committee that the Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Small Scale Mining told him the number of unaccounted for seized excavators is not up to five hundred as was reported in the media.

Hundreds of excavators seized from illegal miners went missing from the warehouse where they were kept.

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News of the missing excavators got many, including the media coalition against galamsey and Occupy Ghana, asking questions about the integrity of the then sector Minister Professor Frimpong Boateng.

Calls were made for the missing excavators to be traced and accounted for while persons responsible for the disappearance of the heavy-duty equipment arrested and prosecuted.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) assured that they will investigate the development if they won the 2020 elections.

The Presidential Candidate of the NDC in the 2020 polls, Mr John Mahama speaking at the manifesto launch of the party said if he won the polls his government “will track down and take the excavators that are missing; we will return them to the rightful owners.  We will improve the mining sector” he added.

Asked the whereabouts of the excavators during his vetting, Mr Jinapor said “Mr. Chairman, I have had the privilege of interacting with the Inter-ministerial committee  on illegal mining  and I want to put on record that based on the briefings they have given me  and the documentation they have given me there were no five hundred excavators missing . They have been very empathetic on that in the briefings to me.

“They said it was the media that put it out there. They have given me some figures. According to their report, they confiscated 209 and they are able to account for 161 excavators.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana