Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor, has been responding to the President’s comments on Akonta Mining.
According to him, the President’s assertion about the firm was rather an assurance that at the time he was speaking Akonta Mining was not engaged in any unauthorised mining.
On Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo at the 28th National and 16th Biennial Congress of the National Union of Ghana Catholic Diocesan Priests Association in Koforidua cleared the mining firm of any wrongdoing.
According to the President, the firm is not engaged in any illegality presently.
“I want to assure you all that Akonta Mining is not engaged in any form of illegal mining anywhere in Ghana as we speak,” he stated.
The firm in question owned by NPP’s Ashanti Regional Chairman, Wontumi, is the subject of an ongoing investigation for allegedly operating in the Tano Nimiri forest reserve without a lease or license
This statement has raised eyebrows among some stakeholders including the convener of the Media Coalition Against Illegal Mining who seems disappointed.
But the sector minister, Samuel Jinapor, says the comment does not absolve Akonta mining from any culpability and that his outfit is working with the Special Prosecutor on the matter.
“The President was not speaking about the wrongdoing or otherwise of Akonta Mining in the past, the criminality or otherwise of Akonta Mining in the past. He was not commenting on what happened in the past. He was giving an assurance of the state of affairs as of the time he was addressing the conference.”
He spoke on the sidelines of a meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff and the Military High Command, Lands Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor.
The Minister intimated that the President must be rater commended for his efforts in the fight against the canker.
Additionally, government has reviewed its strategy to fight illegal mining in the country.
This comes with an assurance of sustaining the momentum to clamp down on persons involved in the destruction of Ghana’s water bodies and forests.
Addressing the press after a meeting with the Chief of Defence Staff and the Military High Command, Lands Minister, Samuel Abu Jinapor said the new measures will be rolled out and made public soon.
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