General News of Thursday, 20 July 2017
The Electricity Company of Ghana has been accused of contributing to illegal mining activities, popularly known as galamsey, in the country.
A minister for Lands and Natural Resources Benito Owusu Bio criticized the ECG, noting it appears the company does not makes the necessary checks before connecting power to mining sites.
“If they do, they would know that these people do not have the licence to operate and wouldn’t even give them power for them to engage in such an illegal activity” he said. “From here, we are going to engage the Ministry of Energy to bring the ECG to book to ensure that they make the necessary checks and connect power to only companies that have the necessary permit to mine.”
The minister said after identifying a concession, one has to get a permit from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources after recommendations by the Minerals Commission.
The company then has to secure a digging permit from the Environmental Protection Agency before going ahead to mine on the concession approved by all these institutions.
Mr Owusu Bio said, ideally, ECG is supposed to check all these certifications before connecting power to any site or in other cases, households and institutions. He admitted that though his Ministry has not engaged the ECG on this issue, it would have been best if the company cut power to all small scale mining sites, especially now that the government has given an order for all small scale mining activities to come to a halt temporarily.
The six months ban is due to expire in two months time.