Government will create employment for illegal miners through NAELP-Jinapor

Samuel Abdulai Jinapor
Samuel Abdulai Jinapor

Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, has asked illegal miners to remain calm as government creates employment for them through the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme (NAELP) launched by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

The programme, he indicated, “will give us the necessary moral authority and courage to continue to pursue the goal of cleaning up this sector as an alternative avenue for employment is being created by the government for illegal miners who will fall through the cracks.”

“Today in the historic mining town of Tarkwa, our visionary, competent and caring President, has laid the final major block of the framework required to regulate the age-old small scale mining sector, and that is, the launch of the NAELP for illegal miners,” Mr Jinapor said.

The Minister, who announced this during the launch of the NAELP at the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), Tarkwa, explained that this was the first comprehensive programme in the history of the country’s mining sector.

The Western Regional Minister, Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, on his part, said “For a region that has Youth Development as a mainstream agenda, we see this initiative as complementary to the achievement of our agenda, we therefore, have no option than to lend our utmost support towards the successful implementation of this great initiative.”

Additionally, he said, “the Western Region had its share of the negative effects of illegal and indiscriminate mining activities. Our land and water bodies as essential resources for nation building need to be managed efficiently and preserved for posterity.”

Mr Okyere Darko-Mensah, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Takoradi Constituency, thanked the President for putting in more measures to combat illegal mining and consistently working hard to halt the menace and its negative impact on the country’s water bodies and environment.

“l believe in your visionary leadership to sanitize the mining sector to ensure our mineral resources are exploited in a more responsible and sustainable manner,” he said

In view of this, the Western Regional Coordinating Council, under my leadership has in two consecutive years, spearheaded the organization of the Ghana Gold Expo and the Mining Week, both events aimed at bringing big wigs along the mining value chain to reason together on the best way to achieve the vision of the Government, Mr Okyere Darko-Mensah noted.

“I could not hide my joy when the government found it necessary and through the 2021 Mid-year Budget Review, revealed plans to provide alternative employment and livelihood for the displaced miners who would inevitably fall through the cracks, and I believe this declaration also brought hope to persons who were displaced as a result of the ongoing efforts by government to sanitize the mining industry of any illegal activities,” he said.

He expressed appreciation to the President for launching the programme in the region and pledged his readiness to ensure it was sustained.

Professor Richard Kwasi Amankwah, Vice-Chancellor of UMaT, recalled that during discussion of the small scale mining dialogue in Accra, his outfit requested that the Minerals Commission should provide them land so they could explore, find gold from it and license the small scale miners.

He thanked the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, his Deputy and the Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission for granting the request and also adding resources to it.

This move, Prof. Amankwah said, would help train their geological, survey and Minerals Engineering students to commence work once they complete their degree.

“We have already rolled out certificate programmes in surface and underground mining, mapping and survey, geological assistance, environmental engineering and occupational safety all to make sure that people who decide to come to UMaT as part of the alternative livelihood can do so for upgrading,” the Vice-Chancellor added.

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