Ranking Member on the Mines and Energy Committee of Parliament, Adams Mutawakilu, has stated that small-scale miners are not illegal miners and that they have acquired licenses from the Lands Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural resources.
He therefore called on government to lift the ban on small-scale mining as soon as possible.
He stated that some amount of the total revenue that the Minerals Commission gain is given to government; hence this has restricted the financial viability of small-scale miners.
According to him, government should release the capping for small-scale miners so that they can employ more people at the grassroots.
“As we speak today, the Mineral Commission only gets 66% of any money they gain, 34% goes to government, and that has restricted their financial viability, so government should pick up the capping so that it can resource them for them to be able to employ a lot of people,” he told 3FM Sunrise morning show host, Winston Amoah.
The ban on small-scale mining has been in existence since President Nana Addo Dakwa Akufo Addo assumed office in January, 2017 as a bid to ensure the reclaiming and re-afforestation of mined out areas and the restoration of polluted water bodies.
He stated that the ban on small-scale mining is an issue of concern since the miners do not have a means of livelihood, and have taken loans from various banks.
According to him, government took this decision deliberately despite knowing that the miners have taken loans.
He charged government to introduce supportive packages to help the miners recover their loss.
“Interests have accrued over the years, banks would have been putting pressure on us to pay, so government should intervene and pay those interests leaving the principal for the miners to pay as a way of compensating the small-scale miners since they are not working.”
He went on to say that the miners do not need the words of government as support but rather need actions.
He further said that as much as it is important to have a roadmap, small-scale mining should be the center of that roadmap.
“Every roadmap should involve the small-scale mining sector at the center of that roadmap, and ensure that Minerals Commission is resourced.”
By Portia Gafah|3news.com|Ghana