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Lands Ministry denies spending over GH¢10m on dialogues on galamsey

The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has denied spending over GH¢10 million cedis on galamsey dialogues.

Galamsey

This comes after the Minority in Parliament accused the Ministry of blowing GH¢10,000,000 on 10 conferences and dialogues in the fight against galamsey in the country.

The Member of Parliament for Tamale North, Alhassan Suhiniyi said the budget for the dialogue is outrageous, insisting misappropriation of funds by the ministry.

According to him, the Ministry spent an amount of GH¢2,140,000 on the national consultative dialogue in Accra, another GH¢3.7 million on the dialogue held in the Northern and middle belt, and another GH¢5.4 million on Regional tours on illegal mining by the Ministry.

"All of these put together Mr. Speaker we are talking about more than ten conferences and dialogue and this is a document from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources during the consideration stage of the 2022 Budget statement. Mr. Speaker ¢10 million just on conferences and dialogue on how to fight Galamsey in this country. How does this impact the fight against Galamsey?" he quizzed.

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However, the Ministry in a statement by the Public Relations Unit on April 7, 2022, said the allegation is false and has no factual basis.

It said the ministry's expenses in the fight against illegal mining are not limited to conferences and dialogues but include other policies and programmes like the establishment of a Monitoring and Evaluation Team, together with a Situation Room, to receive reports of illegal mining and act swiftly on them.

The introduction of the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme (NAELP) and the introduction of the Small-Scale Miners Award Scheme to encourage responsible mining.

The others include revamping of the Community Mining Schemes, the establishment of Small-Scale Mining Committees in the various mining districts across the country, the resourcing of the Minerals Commission, and the introduction of the mercury-free 'gold katcha' to process gold.

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On the dialogues, the statement said the holding of the national dialogue on small-scale mining was pursuant to the call by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, for a national dialogue on illegal mining to agree on a common non-partisan approach to fight the menace.

According to the Ministry, although the national dialogue resolved that regional dialogues be held in all 16 regions, the ministry decided, as a way of prudently managing the public purse, to group the regions and hold zonal dialogues, of which one was held in Kumasi for the forest zone and another in Tamale for the savannah zone.

In addition to these dialogues, the Statement said the Ministry undertook a working tour to all 16 regions and engaged stakeholders to support the fight against galamsey.

Among the stakeholders engaged include the Council of State; the National House of Chiefs; the Regional Houses of Chiefs of all 16 regions; Regional Ministers, Regional Security Councils (REGSECs) of the 16 regions; the Ghana Chamber of Mines; the Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM); Civil Society Organisations in the mining sector; and miners in the field.

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