Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini, is accusing government of frivolously spending a colossal amount of GHS 10 million to hold national discussions and campaigns on illegal small scale mining, otherwise known as galamsey.
He says the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources under whose auspices the conferences, dialogues and tours were organized, has also failed to provide a detailed account of the expenditure expressing worry that despite this huge sum, the fight against galamsey has still come to naught.
Speaking on the back of President Akufo-Addo’s State of the Nation Address, Alhassan Suhuyini, maintained that government has engaged in gross financial malfeasance amidst the current economic challenges.
“The President reported on galamsey and said that we had a number of stakeholder dialogues. We remember the dialogues that were organized in Accra, Ashanti and the Northern Regions, but what the President didn’t tell us was the cost of these dialogues. It is important because you can imagine that the national dialogue held in Accra actually cost us GHS 2.1 million to sit and discuss how to deal with galamsey.”
“Then we had the regional dialogue for the Northern and the Middle Belt cost us GHS 3.7 million. It will blow your mind that, regional tours as far as galamsey is concerned cost us GHS 5.3 million, so we are talking about over GHS 10 million spent on these dialogues and engagements. These are figures are from the Lands and Natural Resources Ministry, and when we demanded the break down, they couldn’t provide us any”, he said on Eyewitness News.
Alhassan Suhuyini, also the Deputy Ranking Member on the Lands Committee, disclosed that the Minority in parliament will trigger the necessary procedures to demand accountability from the government.
“This is why as a Minority, we have been demanding transparency in government expenditure. It is not for the partisanship of it, but for all Ghanaians to be sure that the economic challenges we are facing were brought on by our our reckless expenses”.
Government held the National Consultative Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining which highlighted key agreements and concessions made by relevant stakeholders.
It included former ministers of Lands and Natural Resources, members of the Council of State, members of the National House of Chiefs, Heads of security agencies, actors in the mining industry and members of the Small-Scale Miners Association.
The stakeholders agreed that the government must work to apply the sanctions and penalties imposed by the Mining Act 995 to anyone who breaks the mining law, and that this must be done without fear or favour.