Osah Mills pushes for law permitting govt to seize galamsey equipment

Minister of Lands and Natural Resources-designate, Nii Osah Mills says he will push for a mining policy document that would legalise the confiscation of galamsey equipment.

He said the lack of law to back government’s seizure of machinery used by illegal miners has gone a long way to make efforts to curtail the menace not deterring enough.

The activities of galamsey operators continue to have serious negative effects on the environment with their attendant health implications.

The government was compelled to set up an inter-ministerial taskforce to quell the activities of illegal miners. However, its operations have been militated against by the none existence of a complete legal framework such as giving the power to seize equipment.

Nii Osah Mills was confident the mining policy would give the taskforce the necessary legal backing to crack down on galamsey and make its activities ‘unprofitable’.

When people realize it is becoming counter-productive to invest in expensive equipment which get confiscated by the state, they would be discouraged from engaging in such activities, he said.

Also, the minister-designate said he will establish more monitoring systems in districts as a way of dealing with illegal mining across the country. The Minerals Commission will therefore have more offices at the districts as one sure way of dealing with the menace.

Nii Osah Mills also said he will set up a new surveyor’s school or improve on the existing ones to ensure that people who invest in lands are not shortchanged.

He also described the overcrowding at the Lands Commission where files are left on floor as ‘unacceptable’. He however acknowledged, plans to put up new building under the land administrative project were hit by financial difficulties.

He is also looking at decentralizing land title offices as well as increasing the number of registration officers.

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