The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor called on all players in the mining sector to get their hands on the bridge and ensure proper regulation of the sector.
The Minister believes that the mining sector cannot be properly regulated if all stakeholders do not perform their functions with integrity and transparency.
He said this when he gave the opening speech at the first public lecture of the Student Representative Council (SRC) of the Faculty of Law of Ghana, which was held at the Kwame University of Science and Technology. Nkrumah on Friday December 10, 2021.
Emphasizing the importance of the subject, the Minister said, âWe cannot regulate illegal mining if, for example, the inspection division of the Minerals Commission cannot monitor mining operations or do its job according to the principles of integrity and transparency.
“We cannot regulate this sector if the minister, deputy ministers and ministry officials who are responsible for providing oversight functions do not do so for the sake of integrity.” He continued.
However, Jinapor said it will only be possible to clean up the mining sector if all the authorities concerned work together courageously.
He said “we cannot come to the right conclusion regarding the remediation of the small scale industry, if we work, all of us, Minerals Commission, the minister, deputy ministers, the ministry, work in the spirit of integrity and courage, this is the only way forward.
Speaking on the theme “The legal regime of the mining sector in Ghana. History, challenges and way forward”, the minister assured to continue the fight against illegal mining with the realization of the vision of the president by saying ” The Department of Lands and Natural Resources and I are determined to continue to work tirelessly to build a land and natural resources sector that is effectively managed, transparent and anchored in integrity, thereby contributing to the achievement of the noble vision of the President of the Republic, HE Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo. ”
He also revealed that in view of this fight, an amount of 20 million cedis has been allocated by the government in the 2022 budget to help in the fight against Galamsey.
As part of efforts to encourage and promote responsible small-scale mining in the country, the minister said, the ministry has instituted a responsible small-scale mining program.
He said the program, which will have its first edition on Wednesday, December 22, 2021, will from this year be an annual event “to reward small-scale miners who have adhered to the health, safety and environmental standards of mining”.
In his brief, the Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor also highlighted some challenges within the mining sector such as the lack of added value, the excessive focus on gold and the environmental risks which he believes are due to the lack of staff to oversee the industry. agencies such as environmental protection. Agency, which is responsible for monitoring the protection of people and the environment against significant risks to health, development and enforcement of environmental regulations.
He therefore called on higher education institutions across Ghana to provide higher education in the mining sector to secure and provide well-endowed graduates who with their skills and knowledge can help improve the industry.
“I hope this conference will set the tone for a wider conversion of mining and mining law and perhaps the introduction of mining law as a separate and distinct course from faculties and the introduction of a curriculum for masters in mining, “he said. noted.
The minister hinted that after all that is said and done, Ghana’s mineral resources are the property of the Ghanaian people vested in the president as an administrator and therefore “the government has an obligation to ensure that the the exploitation and use of these resources benefits the real owners of the resource; the people of Ghana. “
For his part, the Chairman of the Public Conference and Director of Legal Education at the Ghana School of Law, Mr. Kwasi Prempeh – Eck, expressed his deep gratitude to the Minister for such a detailed and well presented conference.
He added that he is very impressed and proud of the Minister and all he has been able to accomplish through the ministry, saying that the Hon. Jinapor has proven to be a man of his word and so it is certain that very soon Ghana will see more development initiatives from the Land Ministry just as the Minister assured.
Ghana School of Law SRC President, Mr. Wonder Victor Kutor, in his address applauded the government’s efforts in the mining sector. He further added that as part of the holiday season, the Ghana School of Law has made arrangements to pay the fees of some needy students at selected institutions.
The all-important public conference, the first of its kind, drew hundreds of stakeholders from top government officials, members of parliament, traditional leaders, metropolitan and municipal business leaders and academics.