The Ghana National Association of Small Scale Miners (GNASSM) have urged the Inter Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining to improve processes involved in the vetting of licenses of their members.
According to them, some members of the association have been experiencing some financial constraints in availing themselves for vetting of their licenses given the distance between their operational areas and the vetting center.
Speaking in an interview with Oti Mensah Essilfie Joseph on the special edition of the Jolly Breakfast Show to mark the 21st Anniversary of Skyy Power Fm, Director of Operations of the GNASSM, Emmanuel Yirenkyi Antwi said the vetting processes needs to be reviewed. He argued that reports of some 700 ghost concessions is as a result of the stringent and unfavourable measures taken by the IMCIM to vet licenses and inspect concessions.
“Some don’t even have the money to travel from where they are and bring it in. The situation is that bad. Sometimes raising the money to pay off medical bills of their wives and children is so difficult. Some have even lost their lifes, it’s a real case the association is entangled with”, he cried.
Mr Yirenkyi entreated members of the association to produce their licenses to the committee for validation. He believes some miners are still caught up with the trauma of losing huge investments after the ban on small scale mining.
“I will urge all licensed small scale miners to overcome the fright…submit all the license that you have so that you are not included in any [ghost] concession or licensed miners. I know a good number of miners who up to now haven’t submitted their licenses”
But Secretary to the IMCIM, Charles Onuawonto Nanabanyin Cromwell Bissue in a quick response stated the approach taken by the committee is rather decentralized.
“For us to do the work properly, we asked that they bring all licenses to the district centers then we triggered decentralization. The documents come to us, a vetting team sits here, a mapping team goes to the district with the small scale miner, a chief and other stakeholders to the concession”, he said.
He said some mind-blowing revelations have been observed with the process.
“As the ban was in force, people were issued EPA permits, and you tell me to allow you to go the district and do your dilly dally there? No, you will bring that to the center. The President wants to ensure that the small scale mining business is brought back to the Ghanaian people”, he asserted.
Story: Abraham Mensah