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General News of Saturday, 23 September 2017


Exton Cubic saga: EPA must be fair; others are guilty – Afenyo-Markin

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Effutu Constituency, Alex Afenyo-Markin, has accused the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), of enforcing its laws selectively.

"…recently they (EPA) raised issues regarding the mining business of Exton cubic on the grounds that they have not met all the requirements and that they have not issued them with license but the point is that Ghana Bauxite company limited which is also another company into mining has been mining since 2001…and I know for a fact that their (Ghana Bauxite) agreement with government has never come to parliament and they don’t have the requisite documentations and so if they; EPA want to be fair, then they should also stop Ghana bauxite company from operating; it’s just a matter of equality before the law. If they say that Exton Cubic does not have what it takes to mine, then they should look at Ghana Bauxite..." he said on Citi FM Eyewitness news, Friday.

The MP raised this issue on the Floor of Parliament, and the matter was referred to the Finance Committee and according to the MP “Ghana Bauxite appeared and conceded that indeed their agreement with Ghana has not come to Parliament.”

If you may recall, EPA had stated that Exton Cubic reneged on commitments to submit a liability estimate of environmental degradation, among others. Subsequently, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, directed the company to stop exploration of bauxite in the Tano Offin Forest reserve because of having an invalid mining agreement.

That is why the MP for Effutu feels the EPA is being selective.

Afenyo-Markin who also raised this same issue at the Public Accounts Committee on Friday added that in the case of Ghana Bauxite, "they are not even paying taxes. They are relying on a supposed memorandum of understanding between them and government and we all know that when it comes to taxation, it is only Parliament that can waive.”

"If they, the EPA, want to apply the law and want to be fair, they should also stop Ghana Bauxite from operating. It is just a matter of equality before the law. If you are saying that Exton Cubic has not met the necessary requirements, please apply same to all these mining companies so that you don’t go and act in a certain manner for the government to take the bashing as if it is political… EPA must be seen to be working and dealing with the law without fear, favour or looking at personalities in accordance with the constitution” he added.

Afenyo-Markin was however quick to add that he has no personal interest as far as Exton Cubic is concerned and that he is only ensuring that there is fairness.

"It is about the interest of government and the Ghanaian people" he said.