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General News of Saturday, 15 May 2021

Source: etvghana.com

Galamsey fight: Pay chiefs monthly stipend to end menace – NPP’s Paul Amaning

Galamsey men at work Galamsey men at work

Communication team member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Paul Kwabena-Amaning believes the fight against "galamsey" cannot be won with the deployment of soldiers to mining communities.

To him, the deployment of soldiers and the use of taskforces are just temporal solutions.

“If the government wants a permanent solution to galamsey, the gov’t must give chiefs monthly stipends rather than paying these taskforces to patrol mining communities," he said.

According to him, chiefs have a huge role to play in the eradication of the menace and argues if this method is implemented, “I promise you we will see the end of "galamsey" in the next 5 years”.

Having previously owned 10 mining equipment which he rented out to licensed small scale miners, Paul revealed that absolutely no one can ever mine in any community without paying a courtesy call on the community’s chief.

Speaking in an interview on Happy98.9FM’s Epa Hoa Daben political show hosted by Sefah-Danquah, the businessman revealed, “Before anyone mines in these towns, they have to go and see these chiefs and pay them goodwill. Miners can pay as much as GH₵60,000 as goodwill to the chiefs before they are allowed to mine in these towns. The chiefs themselves can show you the prime areas to mine after payments are made. If you stop the chiefs, you will not see illegal mining again."

He also advised government to make gold a bankable product which is sold by only one regulator, preferably, Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) Ltd.

With this system in place, the politician believes gold smuggling and the financing of illegal mining will also come to an end.

“The licensing of gold buying companies should be ended immediately and the PMMC should be made the only gold buying and selling company. That way, there is control over the gold and there is also price stability”.

Paul championed that with the PMMC in play, the government can then provide licenses and equipment to efficient small scale miners whom they (gov’t) can monitor effectively.

Repeating his earlier stance, he said, “Let’s pay the chiefs on a monthly basis. They should have only one mandate and that is to ensure any small scale miner who steps into their community must have a legitimate license to operate and that will solve "galamsey" and its associated problems”.

The government of Ghana has renewed its efforts to fight the galamsey menace. It (government) recently deployed some 200 military officers to these mining communities with the mission to arrest and destroy equipment belonging to these illegal miners.

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