The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has refuted allegations by the Tamale North MP, Alhassan Suhuyini that the Ministry spent over GH₵10million on national dialogues and conferences on ‘galamsey’.

In a statement to debunk the allegations, the Ministry explained that the cost of the national dialogues held on ‘galamsey’ is derived from the Ministry’s expenditure on the fight against illegal small scale mining.

With the challenges posed by illegal mining to the mining industry, the Ministry organised a National Consultative Dialogue in Accra, Tamale and Kumasi to solicit views, proposals and suggestions on how to deal with the threat of ‘galamsey’ in the country.

Earlier, speaking on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, the Deputy Ranking Member on the Lands Committee, Alhassan Suhuyini alleged that the budget for the dialogue is outrageous, insisting misappropriation of funds by the Ministry.

“All of these put together Mr. Speaker, we are talking about more than ten conferences and dialogues and this is a document from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources during the consideration stage of the 2022 Budget statement. Mr. Speaker GH¢10 million just on conferences and dialogues on how to fight Galamsey in this country. How does this impact the fight against Galamsey?” he quizzed.

But the Ministry in a statement on Thursday, April 7, 2022, insisted that the alleged misappropriation is false.

 “The Ministry wants to state, categorically, that the said allegation is false and has no factual basis.”

“The cost of all these, and many other programmes and policies being implemented by the Ministry, including the revamping of the Community Mining Schemes, the establishment of Small Scale Mining Committees in the various mining districts of our country, resourcing the Minerals Commission, and the introduction of the mercury-free gold katcha, form part of the Ministry’s expenditure on the fight against illegal scale mining, portions of the statement from the Ministry read.

The statement however did not indicate the amount spent on the national dialogues to discredit the alleged GH₵10million by the Tamale North MP.

The statement further added that at the appropriate time, the state agencies mandated to audit the Ministry will do their work and take appropriate actions if any misappropriation is detected.