The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, has cautioned communities benefiting from the Community Mining Scheme (CMS) not to engage the services of foreigners in their activities.
Mr Jinapor issued the stern caution during the launch of the Tokwae Community Mining Scheme in the Asante Akyem South Municipality yesterday.
He emphasised that the CMS is the preserve of Ghanaians, and that any attempt by foreigners to infiltrate the sector will not be tolerated, vowing to revoke the licence of any firm found to have engaged foreigners at its site.
He further explained that government holds the position that Ghanaians must benefit from the country’s natural resources, saying the CMS is the surest way of manifesting that belief.
“We want natives and the elders of Asante Akyem South to enjoy maximum benefits, so I am pleading with you not to allow foreign nationals to engage in it. This should not happen at the expense of the natives of this town,” he said.
“If one foreigner is found working in this mining operation, the mining licence, which I have signed as Minister, will be revoked,” he warned.
The Minister also disclosed that government, as part of its job creation strategy, is seeking to establish at least 50 CMS in 2022.
He said the new module will replace the archaic and more harmful galamsey practices, adding that it would also empower mining communities economically.
“So far, we have commissioned seven community mining schemes, and this, year under the direction of the President, we intend to commission 50 community mining schemes. Agenda 50 Mining Community Schemes begins with Tokwae.
“Community Mining Scheme, which is done responsibly and has regard for the environment which employs the teeming youth of the country, is indeed an alternative to illegal small-scale mining, and that is the strategy of the ministry,” he noted
In response, the Member of Parliament for Asante Akyem South, Kwaku Asante Boateng, eulogised the sector minister for showing exemplary leadership in his role.
He urged the leaders and residents of the community to heed to the counsel by the minister and obey the regulations governing the CMS.
Mr Asante Boateng was happy with the scheme, which he reckons will relieve the constituency of some headache with respect to unemployment.
Nana Eyim Kum Nipa II, Omanhene of Gyadam, also expressed gratitude to the government for the initiative, which he believes will offer job opportunities to the teeming youth in the area and improve upon their living standards.
He pledged the support of the chiefs and other traditional leaders in promoting safety and enhancing security in the operations of the scheme.
The Municipal Chief Executive of Asante Akyem South, Alexanda Frimpong, commended the government for completing the processes which had culminated to the launch of the scheme.
He appealed to the Minister to help deal with illegal small-scale mining activities in the area.