July 20, 2024
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NDC failed to deal with illegal mining at its budding stage – Richard Ahiagbah

The Director of Communications for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has accused the former National Democratic Congress (NDC) government of failing to nip illegal mining activities in the bud leaving the menace to get out of control.

Speaking on PM Express on JoyNews, Richard Ahiagbah explained that, the failure to some extent thwarted the efforts of the current NPP government in dealing with the illegal mining, popularly known as galamsey.

He noted that although the measures employed have been “largely successful”, key plans had to be implemented to contain illegal mining before other substantial measures related to regulation could be addressed.

As a result, President Akufo-Addo placed a total ban on illegal mining in 2017, Mr Ahigabah said,.

He added “But by the time he was engaging this subject, it was out of control. So the ban was to deal with the extent to which this issue has gone out of control to try to step it down.”

“Because somebody who was supposed to deal with the issue at its batting level failed to do that, you are trying to contain it. So the challenges to deal with an issue at a point where it’s out of control versus when it is batting are two different challenges.

“It’s fundamental in having this conversation to point to the fact that where it was easy to deal with this thing, the NDC failed.”

Richard Ahiagbah said that if former President John Mahama had been clear in his commitment to deal with the menace, the situation would not be as bad as it is.

He indicated that government so far has been able to contain the situation which has contributed to the successes in the fight against illegal mining.

“When you get to a point where the thing is out of control, your remedial policy and whatever measures that you want to put in place, military efforts, those are a bit more high level and a bit more chaotic to deal with. The effort put in by this government has not entirely failed.”

“If you go into the small-scale mining sector, the Ministry for Lands and Natural Resources, working closely with the mineral commission and allied agencies, have managed to now regularise small-scale mining through the community mining schemes, which is allowing Ghanaians to leverage the resource that’s given.”

Additionally, Mr Ahiagbah noted that a directive banning all prospecting in the areas that are protected has been issued and is expected to stay in place for years, ensuring that forest reserves are protected from illegal mining activities.

The NPP Director of Communications assured that the part’s flagbearer Mr Mahamudu Bawumia would have even more long-term propositions that will ensure illegal mining is dealt with the matter sustainably.

“One thing that will feature in our manifesto would be what we are doing with the Alternative Livelihood Employment Program to ensure that we are recouping or finding a pathway for people who depended on galamsey for livelihood.”

“With this measure, we can say that we will then be able to pull more people away from galamsey and give them alternative livelihood,” Mr Ahiagbah said.

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