Minister of Lands and Natural Resources says it will be unfair for him to judge the work of his predecessor in the fight against galamsey.
According to Samuel Abu Jinapor, “It will be very unfair to Professor Frimpong-Boateng, who is somehow my predecessor in the management of illegal small scale mining, if I am now here passing judgment on the work he did. I think that will be so undignified and I will not do that”.
Abu Jinapor who was addressing the press at the Ministry of Information’s Meet the Press series on Tuesday, said the jury is out there on the works of his predecessor, emphasising that Ghanaian’s are the ones to pass judgment on the work Prof Frimpong-Boateng did between 2017 and 2021.
The Minister’s comments follow the controversial report on the fight against illegal mining in the country (galamsey), authored by Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, who chaired the erstwhile Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining.
The report, a damning account of official collusion and interference on the work of the committee, has been the subject of bitter arguments between the author and persons he cites as responsible for the virtual failure of the national effort.
And according to the Lands Minister, President Akufo-Addo took the view that he would establish an inter-ministerial committee and the committee’s mandate was to deal with matters of illegal mining in the country.
“The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources were responsible for dealing with illegal mining but in the wisdom of the President, he wanted relevant ministers to come under one umbrella to be able to deal with illegal small scale mining.”
He said that the President appointed the then Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation – Professor Frimpong-Boateng, to chair the committee and therefore from 2017 to 2021, he was given the opportunity and the mandate to deal with illegal small scale mining in Ghana and this was specifically and exclusively to deal with just small scale illegal mining.
“I am not the one to say whether they did a good job or they succeeded or failed,” said Samuel Abu Jinapor.
According to him, there are things about the work he might not adopt today for many reasons.
“I think a time will come when the jury will be constituted to pass judgment on my own stewardship and effort and I pray to God that the judgment will be favourable,” said the Minister with a wide grin.
He said reports cannot be sacrosanct and that with due respect to the “good old Professor Frimpong-Boateng”, he thinks that the report has to be interrogated and examined and those parts that can be taken on board should be taken.
“But at the end of the day what is important is that we remain focused and do the work of the good people of the country.”