The National communications director of the small scale miners association, Mr Peter Ayikey has said every small scale miner in the country has regretted voting the New Patriotic Party into power. This according to him is because the government, they believe is depriving them of their livelihoods. This comes after the lands and natural resources minister, John Peter Amewu said that the government will extend the ban on the operations of small scale miners. Speaking on the Teknocrat on Focus Fm, Mr Ayikey questioned what the government had done so far during the six months it barred small scale miners from the mining operations.
According to him, if government has not been able to identify the illegal miners out of the legal ones and has only achieved 15% of its target, then it has failed. The Akuffo Addo government declared a ban shortly after assuming power, as part of efforts to fight against illegal mining activities in the country.
“Every small scale miner in this country has regretted voting for the NPP party that one it is clear. After the six months what has the government done so far? You were here, you were the journalists who were pushing it. After the six months if you have not even identified one illegal miner from the legal miners what are we talking about? We accept, so six months you should be able to differentiate between the legal miners and the illegal miners. The legal ones who are doing the right thing must do. It is the government agencies’ responsibility to ensure, to check the EPA, the minerals commission, the petrol division, the lands commission, and the water companies, it is their responsibility to check those who are doing the wrong thing. Ask, were they doing it? If they are why too much illegalities in the country’’ he said.
He further added that government must be blamed for the illegalities in the mining sector rather than the small scale miners.
“This fight shouldn’t be like small scale miners are supposed to be blamed. Government must be blamed 70% for the illegalities in the country. Because these illegalities are caused by the government officials, the big guys from the top there. But we have not got there, when we get there you’ll see’’ he added.
Source: Gemma Appiah/Focus FM KNUST