President Directs REGSECs To Lead Galamsey Fight

The Minister and his entourage with the Yaa Naa

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel A. Jinapor, has disclosed that President Akufo-Addo has directed every Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to spearhead the fight against illegal mining, popularly called galamsey.

He said the President expects REGSECs in mining regions to be the pivot for the enforcement of the fight against galamsey and deforestation in the country, to ensure effective security coordination at all levels to curb the menace.

The minister, accompanied by George Mireku Duker, one of his deputies and their entourage, was speaking during a meeting with the Northern Regional Security Council in Tamale on Monday, as part of his tour of the northern regions.

Mr. Jinapor said that the security architecture of the management of the lands and natural resources, rest with the REGSECs, and added that with absolute commitment and teamwork, the government’s quest to protect forest cover and water bodies will be achieved.

He said Tamale, which is the main metro in the northern regions, is witnessing rapid development and as a result, all sorts of engagements are going on and the security has to be tightened.

He, therefore, called on the traditional authorities, opinion leaders and government officials to continue to safeguard the area in order to accelerate the development agenda of the government.

The minister further mentioned some interventions being made by government to stop the illegal harvesting of wood, including the impounding of rosewood and the outright ban on the commodity as well as a soon-to-be rolled-out aggressive afforestation drive in response to deforestation to restore the country’s forest cover.

Northern Regional Minister, Shani Alhassan Shaibu, who is also the chair of REGSEC, bemoaned the wanton encroachment on public lands, forest reserves and sand winning in the region, and said they will work hard to stem the tide.

Gbewaa Palace

Earlier, the minister and his entourage visited the Overlord of Dagbon, Yaa Naa Abubakar Mahama II, at the Gbewaa Palace in Yendi, where they discussed issues affecting land management and the overall environment.

Mr. Jinapor reiterated the government’s recognition of the pivotal role the chieftaincy institution is playing in the positive development of the country, and indicated that matters relating lands, forestry and mines cannot be properly managed without the support of the chiefs.

“Whatever I am coming to do in the Northern Region, it is important that I come to Gbewaa Palace to pay a courtesy call on the Yaa Naa and ask for the blessing of the Yaa Naa for me to continue with my tour of the Northern Region. Chiefs are pivotal in the efficient management of Ghana’s natural resources,” the minister stressed.

He also used occasion to commend the Yaa Naa for his support during the June 11th Green Ghana day, and called on Ghanaians to monitor trees planted during the tree planting exercise.

The Yaa Naa admonished the minister and his team to be fearless in the illegal mining fight and deforestation, and said they have his unflinching support and that of his chiefs, in the government’s quest to curb the menace and restore the vegetative cover of the country.

The Yaa Naa applauded the minister for the strides attained in the fight so far, adding that he will together with his subjects work to help the ministry achieve its mandate.