The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) has lauded the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abdulai Jinapor, for his inclusion of the Association in all mining dialogues and programmes since his assumption of office.
The Director of Communications for the Association, Abdul Razak Alhassan who spoke to the press, said the minister even before his vetting and swearing-in promised that he would involve all relevant stakeholders in the small scale mining industry in order to ensure the sector drives development and gets a major facelift.
“The minister before his vetting, through the Chief Director of the ministry, reached out to the Association to learn more about the sector. He took our inputs on how best the ministry can help the sector to move forward and deal with issues like pollution of water-bodies and the lands. So, he was satisfied with the information we gave and asked for our support to improve the sector,” he said.
The Association’s comments come after the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources recently held a dialogue on small scale mining in Accra.
It was on the theme ‘Sustainable Small Scale Mining for National Development’. It brought together various stakeholders to interact and devise ways to ensure sustainable and environmentally-friendly mining while reaping the full benefits.
Mr. Razak Alhassan said the minister has been pragmatic in his approach while dealing with issues facing the sector; and if the minister continues to be pragmatic in his approach as he has been during his early days in office, then all lingering issues can be resolved amicably.
He said the Association has also taken the decision to suspend activities of its taskforce for now, until they have a sit-down with the minister to brief him on the taskforce’s activities and how they can both fight against illegal mining.
“We have suspended the activities of our taskforce for now, because we do not want it to look like we are jumping the gun. For now, we are building the taskforce to make sure they give him the support when the time comes,” he reiterated.
“If only he keeps his word and continues the same way he started, we foresee that he will be one of the best ministers to have handled the ministry,” Mr. Razak Alhassan said.
For his part, the General Secretary of the Association, Godwin Amarh, also applauded Mr. Jinapor for his all-inclusive approach with all relevant stakeholders in the mining sector.
He said the Association is ever ready to work with the ministry to curb illegal mining.
He further urged all small scale miners to mine responsibly in order to avoid any sanctions.