Former minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Inusah Fuseini, has expressed the need for government to simplify the licensing regime for small scale miners in the country.
According to him, the move will support government’s efforts in regularizing the small scale mining industry and help curb illegal mining in the country.
Mr Fuseini revealed that the anti-galamsey operation he led during the erstwhile Mahama administration had not factored in the political angle of galamsey. Nonetheless, he expressed the need for a mining licensing regime that will enable government regulate and enforce environmental regulations on the entire mining industry.
“… Now probably what we need to do is to free up the system and make the licensing regime quite easy and simple for many people to migrate onto the licensing regime than just taking the law into their own hands and mining with impunity…”Inusah Fuseini
The former lands minister indicated that every political party wants to win power to effect some good for the country. As such, if illegal miners are going to prevent the party from doing that, probably there is the need to think through how these parties can win the confidence of the miners.
Mr Fuseini explained that when this is done, the government of the day will not “unduly disturb those who have taken advantage of the opportunities to mine in the corridors of the licenses” that they have been given.
Inusah Fuesini calls for dismissal of Offin DCE
Commenting on the illegal mining activities on the Offin River, Mr Fuseini expressed shock that the District Chief Executive in the River Offin area is still at post despite the proliferation of illegal mining activities in the area.
He stated that in 2014 during the administration of John Mahama, the then-DCE for the area was fired after five chang fangs which were being used for illegal mining activities were discovered on the Offin River. He highlighted that years after, 838 chang fangs were discovered operating on the Offin River by Operation Halt, and yet the ruling government has failed to remove the DCE from post for dereliction of duty.
He indicated that the failure of the DCE to prevent and protect the water body within his district was enough reason for his dismissal as his actions and inactions have greatly undermined the fight against galamsey.
“… Even if they’re put there legally, there is no law that permits mining on a water body. You can only put an equipment on a water body if you’re dredging that water body… And I thought that was a dereliction of duty. That was why I was quite surprised that recently 838 Chang fangs were found on River Offin and the District Chief Executive is still sitting in office. That makes me feel bad.”Inusah Fuseini
Mr Fuseini called for a multi-stakeholder engagement on galamsey to deal with the menace and also the equal application of the anti-galamsey laws to avoid discrimination.