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Consider banning mining for a year for reforms – Okyenhene advises government

The Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amotia Ofori Panyin has advised the government to look at a decision of banning mining activities in the country for a period of time.

He said this will enable the government to properly restructure the sector and put an end to the galamsey canker.

The Okyehene said the fight against illegality in the mining sector must be wholistic to forestall future recurrence and ensure sustainable mining.

He said this when the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor called on him at his palace in Akyem Abuakwa.

”Let’s stop it for proper licensing. So left to me alone, Abu, mining is banned for a year. Shut it down for investigation and proper supervisory, and resource the regulatory agency so that we do it well. I think the President and the Ministry should sit down and put on one-year moratorium on the whole mining industry so that we can look at it carefully and make sure that every license is renewed” Okyenhene said.

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According to Okyenhene, after the ban, the state must ensure that “everybody who is interested in mining should now go with the new investigation. As at now we don’t know who has small scale mining, we don’t know who has large scale mining. The Public needs to know so that is clear and publish the names and the companies who have been licensed properly. Because we cannot be in the middle of a war we cannot find these things when we are fighting it so if the law goes that everybody should shut down then we begin to find out who has been properly licensed, who has prospecting license, who has recognizance license , who has a digging license and who has proper license before we can start”

The Overlord of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional area stated that “left to me, we should leave it (gold) to future generation. Because we’ve mined over 100 years and I, in particular, don’t see what we have been able to benefit”.

Okyenhene called for the decoupling of minerals Commission from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to become autonomous to enable it to be efficient in regulatory and supervision of the mining sector .

“We need to separate the Policymaker from the regulator. You can’t have the policy maker and regulator work the same. Minerals commission must be a separate entity from the ministry of Lands so that, the Commission should have the audacity and courage to say this is not good. You cannot have only 13 Districts that have minerals Commission offices. We need men to supervise and regulate the mining projects that people do to degrade the environment affecting the country. Minerals Commission is short-changed so we need to resource them, so that they can monitor and regulate the mining sector properly”

Okyenhene Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin

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