Alliance For Truth,Justice and Accountability (ATJAG) a civil society group, the group have issued a press statement concerning the fight against illegal mining and its related issues.
They are asking for immediate probe of the transport Minister over excavators found In Ghana’s forests and rivers areas and it’s consequential and detrimental effects of our land and water bodies by illegal miners who use them in their activities.
Below contain the full details :
On or about latter part of April, 2019, The Minister for Transport, Mr. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, announced that cabinet had imposed a ban on the importation of excavators and heavy duty digging machines.
The ban subsequently took effect from May 1, 2019. Since then, the only person authorized by cabinet to sign before an excavator could be brought in to the country, was the Minister of Transport, Mr.Kwaku Ofori Asiamah.
“This has become necessary following government’s decision to combat the illegal mining phenomenon, popularly referred to as galamsey.” The statement explained and, accordingly, urged the public to take note of the directive.
MINISTER OF TRANSPORT
Explaining the rationale further to graphic online in an interview, Mr. Asiamah said the government was committed to the fight against galamsey and was bent on instating measures aimed at curbing the menace.
On the issue of the fate of excavators which has been shipped and are in the transit prior to the ban,Mr. Asiamah said “the importers would have to provide documents to show they indeed imported the excavators before the ban.
Illegal mining, he stated had destroyed part of Ghana’s Forest cover and water bodies and it was, therefore, important for all to support government’s efforts to fight illegal mining.
Contrary to the above, recently, there has been reports of large numbers of excavators, mostly brand new, being burned by members of the military taskforce sent in to the bush to fight illegal mining. During the course of their operations, officers of the anti-galamsey task force have been forced burn the excavators used in the illegal mining operations.
Our group believes if the ban imposed by cabinet had been strictly enforce, Ghana’s forests and river bodies would not have been inundated with excavators.
Under the circumstances, we call on government to institute aprobe and to have Mr. Asiamah answer the following questions.
1.How many excavators did he allow to be imported in to the country since May 1st, 2019?
2. Is it true that officers of his Ministry charged a pecuniary fee of $5.000.00 for every machine allowed to imported in to the country?
3.How many caterpillers and excavators were registered by the Driver, Vehicle, and Licensing Authority (DVLA)?
4. What methods has his ministry put in place to monitor and ensure that these machines went to the purpose for which they were imported?
Bismark Kofi Boateng