President Mahama inaugurating the inter-ministerial committee
Dr. Steve Manteaw, Campaign coordinator, Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) has said the inter-ministerial taskforce set up by President Mahama to tackle galamsey was a “partial solution” to addressing the menace.
The committee included the Ministers for the Interior, Defence, Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration as well as Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation. It is headed by the Minister for Land and Natural Resources.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story, the campaign coordinator said it was a partial solution because it only took into consideration the problems posed by illegal small-scale miners and not the formal and licensed miners.
He explained the President’s bewilderment about how heavy equipment used in galamsey got into the country and onto their respective sites.
“They come through the ports in parts and are assembled to be used on the legal small scale mining”.
He lauded the directive by the President to deport foreign nationals found to be involved in the illegal practice.
The embassies and Ghanaian missions abroad has a key role to comprehensively deal with the problem, he added.
“Foreign mission need to send signals that illegal mining was not allowed”, he said.
He said that some Ghanaians who won concession licenses head to China to partner their nationals to use their licenses.
The Minerals Commission ought to know this, he said.
The use of the embassies and missions abroad could therefore complement the work of the taskforce.
“Force alone will not deal with the problem”, he noted.
Meanwhile, deputy Minister for Information Murtala Mohammed hailed the President’s taskforce as the “first time” ever that a coordinated team had been assembled to collaboratively deal with the problem.
It was also the first time the Commander-In-Chief was giving “tough and specific instruction involving all stakeholders.”
The Deputy minister recalled there has been individual efforts by Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, military and police.
“What extent did that achieve the needed results”, he asked.
This was because efforts were not coordinated, the deputy minister explained.
Yet this latest effort for “absolute results” meant it was not going to be “business as usual”, he assured.
Results may not be forthcoming in a week but it would “in the shortest possible time”.