The Minister for Finance has revealed that government, through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, will provide alternative employment and livelihoods programmes for illegal miners.
Presenting the mid-year budget review, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, stated that the programme is part of the job creation efforts by government to those who were affected by the clamp down of illegal mining activities.
“As part of our efforts to create jobs for young people, Government will, in the coming weeks, launch a National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programmes for illegal small-scale miners affected by the activities of Operation Halt II.”Ken Ofori-Atta
He indicated that the alternative programme will be anchored on six main interventions namely; National Land Reclamation and Re-afforestation, Agricultural and Agro-processing, Apprenticeship, Skills Training and Entrepreneurship, Responsible, Viable and Sustainable Community Mining, Mine Support Services and Community Enhancement Projects.
“These initiatives will target mainly illegal miners displaced by the ongoing efforts to sanitize the mining industry. Government recognizes the need to protect our environment, just as it finds it necessary to provide alternative employment and livelihoods for our compatriots who will inevitably fall through the cracks.”Ken Ofori-Atta
Gov’t to enforce mining laws
On ensuring sustainable mining in the country, Ken Ofori-Atta disclosed that the Lands Ministry will beef up the personnel and other logistics of the Inspectorate Division of the Minerals Commission to undertake strict monitoring and enforcement of the nation’s mining laws.
“The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, in line with the President, has held a National Dialogue, followed by two Regional Dialogues on Small Scale Mining. Following this, several measures are being put in place to build a sustainable, viable and responsible small-scale mining industry that protects the national environment.”Ken Ofori-Atta
Touching on lands, the Minister indicated that, government is making effort to digitize the records of the Lands Commission to reduce registration time and also help step up the implementation of the Electronic Conveyancing introduced by the Land Act.
“Mr. Speaker, digitization of records on lands will reduce the time for registration to a maximum of one month. The digitization will also be a step forward towards the implementation of the Electronic Conveyancing introduced by the Land Act.”Ken Ofori-Atta
Gov’t seeks to develop efficient land administration
Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, further averred that, with these interventions, government seeks to develop an efficient and robust land administration anchored on integrity, which responds to the needs of the citizenry and contributes to the development of the national economy.
The Lands Commission, he said, has commenced the process of regional education and sensitization on the new Land Act, 2020 (Act 1036). He added that, efforts to protect forests and recover lost ones have included the Green Ghana Project, which saw the planting of over five million (5,000,000) trees on June 11, 2021, (the Green Ghana Day); the outright ban on the harvesting and exportation of rosewood and the declaration of Forest Reserves as Red Zones for mining.
The Minister then assured of government’s determination to ensure the responsible and sustainable exploitation of the Lands and Natural Resources in the country.