The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr. Samuel Abu Jinapor, has debunked claims that he has extended the mining leases and licenses of certain mining companies in the country.
Commenting on the claims in a communique, he indicated that, “the Ministry had not granted and/or extended any mineral right to any mining company.”
“The attention of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has been drawn to a publication;to the effect that the sector Minister has granted and/or extended certain mining leases or licenses since assumption of office.
“The said publication further alleged that while;the Minister was publicly suspending mining licenses, he was secretly granting same to his favorites.”
The lands Minister further urged the public to disregard such publication and continue having confidence in the Ministry to discharge its mandate with integrity and in utmost transparency.
This allegation comes on the back of the Minister’s direction to the Minerals Commission to desist from processing or granting any request for the renewal of prospecting licenses in forest reserves.
This was after he also suspended indefinitely the activities of people in the mining communities undertaking mining reconnaissance and prospecting in forest reserves across the country as part of efforts to fight illegal mining.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources in this regard also directed;the Minerals and Forestry Commissions to publish the list of all companies holding prospecting and reconnaissance licenses in forest reserves. A move, the Ministry said, will ensure the highest standard of transparency.
Government committed to galamsey fight
The Minister has over the weeks reiterated his commitment to curb the menace of illegal mining without fear or favor. In recent interactions with stakeholders and the media,;he indicated that all directions coming from the Ministry are part of efforts to help the fight against illegal mining in the country.
This he explained is so because, “extraordinary problems require extraordinary measures to curb the current illegal mining situation.”
Lands Minister tours waterbodies
Meanwhile, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister has today, May 17, 2021;embarked on an aerial tour of the Pra River Basin, which covers the Central, Western, Eastern, and Ashanti regions.
According to him, the tour is to ascertain for himself the progress made;so far regarding the protection of the country’s water bodies and forest cover since the Operation Halt started on April 28, this year.
At Anyinam in the Atiwa East District of the Eastern Region,;the Minister appealed to the residents to help the Government to curb the illegal mining menace. He also pleaded with them to form cooperative associations;to help obtain the requisite support from the government to boost their businesses.
“You must also plant trees after your mining operations to protect our rivers and increase our forest cover.”Samuel Jinapor
The Minister was accompanied by top military officers, officials from the Ministry Lands and Natural Resources and the media.