President against Ghanaians fronting for foreign miners

Tarkwa (W/R), President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Tuesday urged Ghanaians to desist from fronting for foreigners to engage in illegal small scale mining (Galamsey).

He said the laws of Ghana allowed only citizens and not foreigners to engage in small scale mining.

Let us abide by our laws We should not act as front-men for foreigners in activities solely reserved for Ghanaians, he stressed.

President Akufo-Addo gave the caution when he interacted with the chiefs and people of Tarkwa in the Western Region on the second day of his three-day tour of the Region.

The tour is to thank the people for the massive show of support given him and the New Patriotic Party during the December 2016 general election, and to get first hand their concerns and suggestions to improve the governance of the country.

The President outlined his government’s proposal to strengthening the small scale mining industry through the Multilateral Integrated Mining Project (MMIP).

The MMIP, he said, would be the first holistic approach in combating illegal mining in Ghana, reduce illegal small scale mining to the barest minimum and find alternative livelihoods for those involved.

President Akufo-Addo urged residents of Tarkwa to ignore the propaganda making the rounds that he intends abolishing mining.

He said the only form of mining he was against was illegal mining.

With the christening of Ghana’s first modern city as Elmina, to wit ‘The Mine’ by the Portuguese, President Akufo-Addo stated that as far back as the 15th century, there was the recognition that mining was important for the country’s economy.

Mining is part of our heritage. It is not under an Akufo-Addo government that mining is going to be abolished. I can never abolish mining. Those saying I am trying to abolish mining are just doing propaganda. Mining is an integral part of our country’s heritage, he said.

The President said what his government could not allow to happen, was for illegal mining to compromise the country’s environment.

Our lands, water bodies and forests are also part of our heritage. I swore an oath before the Almighty and before Ghanaians to govern in accordance with the rule of law, and also to protect the territorial integrity of our nation. I am mandated by the laws of the land to protect our lands and water bodies.

Mining in Ghana, from the times of our ancestors, have been undertaken without it destroying our water bodies and lands. The Birim, Densu, rivers we used to drink from as children, have now been polluted as a result of galamsey. I, as President of the Republic, will not watch unconcerned whilst a few people destroy our lands and water bodies.

President Akufo-Addo announced that government had received a number of proposals for the establishment of a gold refinery at Tarkwa, adding that if I was against mining, I would not be putting such measures in place.

He also assured residents of Tarkwa about government’s determination to revive the Bonsa Tyre Factory and the Aboso Glass Factory, so as to create jobs and wealth for the people.

Source: Ghana News Agency