The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, has said miners who were affected by the ban on small-scale mining are not entitled to any form of compensation from government.
Although the ban was lifted on Monday, there have been calls on the government to compensate small-scale miners for revenue lost during the ban which lasted for nearly 20 months.
But according to the Lands and Natural Resources Minister, the ban was beneficial to the small-scale miners, thus they do not deserve to be compensated.
“I don’t think they are entitled to any compensation, this is a direct policy from the government, that for your safety, for your own good, this work needed to stop at a particular time for it to be regularized to make it formal. The ban came to sanitize the system, the ban also ensured that those who had come all the way from other countries into our country to plunder our resources don’t get the opportunity to do that,” he said.
Government lifted the ban on all forms of small-scale mining effective Monday 17th December 2018 after nearly 20 months.
The ban was however was lifted for only small-scale miners who successfully went through the vetting process for their operations to be properly regulated.
This was made known by the Chairman of the inter-ministerial committee on illegal mining, Prof. Frimpong Boateng at the outdooring of government’s new policy framework on regularizing and reforming mining activities in Ghana.
The lifting of the ban follows the successful vetting of 1,350 small-scale miners out of which over 900 have now been giving licenses to operate.
“Having successfully implemented the strategies outlined in the road-map, the ban on small-scale mining is being lifted on Monday 17th December 2018 for miners who have gone through vetting successfully within the regularized and reformed framework?” the Minister said.
Compensate small-scale miners after long ban – Mutawakilu to Gov’t
Ranking Member on Parliament’s Mines and Energy Committee, Adam Mutawakilu proposed that the government should compensate small-scale miners who were affected by the blanket ban on all small-scale mining activities.
According to him, the directive for all small-scale mining activities to be ceased cost many properly licensed mining companies and individuals a lot of money, and it may be difficult for them to recover without government support.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Adam Mutawakilu, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Damongo, said many of the small-scale miners had taken loans whose interest has accumulated and left them heavily indebted.
“The small-scale mining was banned meanwhile legitimately government gave them the permit to mine. Most of these small-scale miners had gone for bank loans and as a result will have to pay interest. Meanwhile, when the ban was imposed on the small-scale miners, the interest rate accumulated. As a result of no fault of theirs, they will be forced to pay the 22-month interest accumulation. The government should have made an effort to compensate these small scale miners so that at least the interest that has been accumulated as a result of the ban, they will settle that so that they will put the small-scale miners in their original position as if the ban never took place,” he said.
By: Farida Yusif | citinewsroom.com | Ghana