The minister was optimistic the move will facilitate the sustainable development of the mining sector because it would encourage ‘galamsey’ operators to secure licences, which will in turn boost efforts to stem the wanton degradation of the environment and also help stem the negative consequences of the activities of these illegal operators, who neither pay taxes or royalties to government.
Hon Inusah Fuseini gave the directive during his interaction with management and staff of the Minerals Commission.
The visit formed part of the newly-appointed Minister’s tour of agencies under the Ministry and also provided a platform for him (Hon Inusah Fuseini) to share his vision for the development of the mining sector with the Commission.
The Lands and Natural Resources Minister emphasised that the elimination of illegal operators, particularly foreigners from the mining sector, was one of the top priorities of government and pledged to work actively with all allied organisations including Ministries of Interior, Local Government and Rural Development, Environment, Science and Technology, among others, for an integrated approach to tackle the problem.
To effectively tackle the daunting ‘galamsey’ challenge, Hon Inusah Fuseini averred that the Ministry, under his tenure, will also focus attention on ‘identifying or unveiling the real masterminds and powerful people some of whom reportedly reside in the Middle East, who have been funding these illegal mining operations.’
The Hon Minister stressed the need to pursue the campaign to its logical conclusion to safeguard our prized national heritage like the Globally Significant Biodiversity Area.
Hon Inusah Fuseini announced that he would pursue far-reaching vision for the accelerated development of the mining industry by formulating and pursuing a policy which would ensure greater involvement of Ghanaians across the entire spectrum of the mining industry and also ensure that mining communities and resource owners derive maximum benefits from their resources while enhancing sustainability.
To implement this vision, Hon Inusah Fuseini emphasised that he would require the unalloyed commitment and unflinching support of all staff of the Minerals Commission to work together as a team with a common vision and mission.
‘It is for this purpose that I call on you to put aside all your idiosyncrasies so that we can all put our shoulders to the wheel to enable us work together diligently as a team to avert the menace of the natural resource curse in this country,’ said the Hon Minister.
On his part, Ben Aryee, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Commission, pledged the technical support of his agency for the formulation of appropriate policies to promote the development of the sector, adding that ‘we will do all in our power to ensure that you succeed.’