Former Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Inusah Fuseini has said the government should have gone full throttle on the fight against illegal small-scale (galamsey) in the country.
The former Member of Parliament(MP) for Tamale Central constituency said this in an interview with TV3’s Miriam Osei Agyeman on Mid Day News, Friday, April 23.
Reacting to the new directive from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources on the illegal activities of galamsey released on Thursday, April 22, directing all prospecting and reconnaissance activities to cease in all forest reserves in the country, Mr. Inusah said, “I think that they should have gone all out, full throttle to ban the activity all away and then confiscate excavators and call for investigations to be carried out to determine the circumstances under which people within the Forestry Commission, Minerals Commission and within the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources conspired to give permits to people to mine the forest reserves”.
When asked if in his opinion the Forestry Commission has the capacity to abide by this new directive, he said, “ yes they do because anybody who wants to carry out any prospecting and reconnaissance activities will first have to apply for a permit from the Minerals Commission.
“So if it is established that the minerals commission hasn’t issued permits to any entity or person to carry out prospecting activities or reconnaissance activities in the forest reserves, then with that we can classify all those activities taking place as illegal”.
“Now if the persons who are engaging in such activities in the forest reserves have some form of permit from the Mineral Commission and no objection from the Forestry Commission, we need also to go further to probe the circumstances under which these persons were given these permits”.
“I’m aware of serious political interference in the work of both commissions, the Forestry commission and the Mineral Commission. Is this one of those cases that persons connive with this government to put unbearable pressure on both the Forestry commission and Minerals Commission to conspire to issue them with permits to engage in that illegal activities? We need to know, as a people, we need to know” he charged.
By Barima Kwabena Yeboah|3news.com|Ghana