Investigate those who gave out permits to mine in forest reserves – Inusah Fuseini to Abu Jinapor.
Former Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, has called on the current Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor to investigate officials who gave permits to some people to mine in forest reserves.
Following the recent National Consultative Dialogue on Small Scale Mining, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has directed all persons and companies engaged in reconnaissance and/or prospecting in Forest Reserves, with or without legal authorization, to suspend such activities until further notice.
In addition to that the Minerals Commission, with immediate effect, is not to accept, process, and/or recommend the grant, including renewal and/or extension of reconnaissance and prospecting licenses in Forest Reserves.
Persons and/or companies engaged in reconnaissance and/or prospecting in Forest Reserves have been given seven (7) days to cease their operations and evacuate their equipment accordingly.
Commenting on the directive of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, the former Tamale Central MP said on Okay FM’s ‘Ade Akye Abia’ Morning Show that he was taken aback to hear that the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources has given a directive that all those who are prospecting in the forest reserves should stop.
He wondered how some people have been able to obtain permits to prospect in the forest reserves as such catchment area is supposed to be protected from any harmful activities.
“I don’t know how come some people have been able to obtain permits to prospect in the forest reserves. It has never crossed my mind, and when I was at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, I was so clear in my mind that you cannot prospect in the forest reserves . . .
“You cannot dredge our water bodies and you cannot do mining 100 meters to the water bodies. These are laws or regulations about mining in this country,” he wondered.
He was of the opinion that the Forestry Commission, Minerals Commission and officials of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources are complicit if some people have the permit to prospect the forest reserves which the law forbids.
“In fact, if they had issued permits, then the Forestry Commission, the Minerals Commission and officials of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources are complicit in this matter.
“They have to investigate to know who gave the permits to people to prospect in the forest reserves because it is a protected area,” he indicated.