The Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Professor Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, has scored the government high in its fight against illegal mining in the country.
He said evidence on the ground shows “we have done very well” contrary to claims by some civil society groups and the National Democratic Congress that government’s fight against scourge otherwise known as galamsey, has failed.
“If you look at the evidence, we’ve done much better than most people will recognise,” he told journalists Thursday on the sidelines of the State of the Nation Address presented to parliament by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
According to the minister who is the chairman of the anti-galamsey taskforce, the successes chalked by government have now become the reference point for some African countries who have been tapping from Ghana’s experience.
Prof Frimpong-Boateng said considering what the situation was at the time the Akufo-Addo government assumed office and what has been achieved, it is only fair to score the government 70 per cent.
“Mining with impunity is no longer there, people who were dying in the pits, deaths have been reduced by 90 per cent and this is very commendable,” he claimed.
He added: “Look at where we started from, now we’ve come to the point where the community mining has been accepted by Ghanaians and about 25,000 people are doing their work there”.
Meanwhile, he has denied allegations that he is involved in corrupt deals in the fight against illegal mining
According to the cardiothoracic surgeon, since returning to Ghana at the age of 39 years, he has sacrificed his entire life to working in the interest of the nation to the extent that he has done nothing for his himself.
Prof. Frimpon-Boateng said it saddens him that his reputation is being associated with illegality when he has not even taken a bribe in his life before.
“Look at me; I’ve not taken bribe before. I’ve not extorted money from anyone before. I’ve not done anything wrong before and it saddens my heart that people can associate me with illegality. This is wrong,” he told Komla Klutse.
He recounted how he returned from Germany to Ghana to set up the National Cardiothoracic Centre and construct its building without monetary contribution from the government.
Also, he said he reformed the Ghana Red Cross Society and founded the Ghana Heart Foundation, stating “everything that I’ve done in this world is for Ghanaians. I’ve not done anything for myself”.
The Minister who has come under criticism for his handling of the seized excavators which went missing said he is not involved in any crime as is being alleged by his critics, saying “It is not true”.
“Every excavator that has been stolen will be found,” he assured.
Details of the whole excavator saga and other matters regarding the alleged corruption in the galamsey fight, he said, will come out soon once investigations are concluded by the Police, hence declined to say more.
He thus asked journalists not to “harass” him with the issue.
Asked whether he would resign on the back of the allegations, he responded: “for what purpose?”
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana