By: Fred Yaw Sarpong
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubynn has categorically stated that some other nationals such as Americans, Spanish are operating illegal mining (galamsey) in the country apart from the Chinese nationals.
He also mentioned Niger nationals and Malians among those nationals operating illegal mining in Ghana.
He stated that the reasons why people relate ‘galamsey’ activities in Ghana to the Chinese nationals are that their number exceeds all other nationals who are operating illegal mining in the country.
Dr Aubynn said until this ‘galamsey’ business will cease in the country, every Ghanaian have to join hands to fight this menace. ‘‘We are the problem and we must act now,’’ he added.
Dr Aubynn said this when he delivered a statement at the Natural Resource conference in Accra last weekend. The conference focused on ‘‘natural resource governance and management in Ghana: The stride towards an efficient use of our natural resources.’’ The conference was organised by the Institute of Green Growth Solution and Konrad Adenaur Stiftung.
According to him, the commission is about to review the practices of small scale mining operation in the country. ‘‘The review will take into consideration of activities of ‘galamsey’ in Ghana,’’ said Dr Aubynn.
He indicated that Ghana could benefit more from it natural resources if every Ghanaian will help to preserve them. ‘‘We cannot also say that natural resources have not benefited this country,’’ said Dr Aubynn
Dr Eric Twum, the CEO of the Institute of Green Growth Solution said the management and exploitation of our natural resources has been called to question on a number of occasions due to the deterioration in environmental quality and health in most parts of the country with rural areas being the most affected.
‘‘Consequently, this poor resource management and exploitation negatively impacts on economic development since huge investments are made to repair the damage caused. Again, the question of who are in charge cannot be overlooked. Why should we as a country with all our human and institutional capabilities wait till the harm is done before we strike in rebuttal’’?
Dr Twum said economically, research has indicated that between 2011 and 2012, the country lost about US$90 million and US$70 million due to stability agreements in the mining and oil and gas sectors respectively.
He said in addition to this economical loss, revenue accrued from our natural resource exploitation in most cases is neither properly used nor accounted for. ‘
‘This makes me ponder over the effectiveness of our quest to contribute to meeting the objectives of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) which includes an enhancement of the demand-side of social accountability by providing public insight into revenues derived from the exploitation of the country’s mineral resources,’ he added.
The conference brought together over 150 stakeholders drawn from mining and oil and gas sectors, the media, government agencies, public servants, civil society, investors and among others.