Former President John Dramani Mahama says the next National Democratic Congress (NDC) government will put adequate measures in place to regulate the country’s mining sector.
The NDC flagbearer is also accusing the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration of preventing persons with genuine documents from engaging in mining activities.
He alleged that the excavators and other equipment seized from some small scale miners in the country have been given to persons affiliated to the ruling government.
Speaking at the Manhyia Palace on Wednesday, Mr. Mahama noted that he would introduce what he calls cooperative mining, where mining activities would be well-regulated.
He also assured that military personnel will not be involved in mining-related activities should he be elected President on December 7, 2020.
“A lot of things are not going on well in this country. For instance, when it comes to small scale mining, people paid monies and were given concessions genuinely which was done through the Minerals Commission. When the current government assumed office, they have taken these concessions from these people and have given them to other people. We must know that Ghanaians are one people and we are all entitled to benefit from the country. It doesn’t matter one’s tribe- be it Ashantis, Akyems, Gas, Fantes, Ewes or Dagombas. Unfortunately, there’s been discrimination and as a result, if one is not affiliated to a particular party, his or her concession would be taken away from them and given to other people.”
The NDC flagbearer was at the Manhyia Palace to introduce his running mate, Prof. Jane Naana Opoku-Agyemang to the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
He added: “They have seized some people’s excavators and have given them to their party members. NDC, as we stand for social justice, is saying that should we be voted for, we will correct all these mistakes. All those who have had their excavators seized will have them back. Those whose concessions have been taken will have them back. There will be a law in place to spell out how the mining would be done to benefit the country without causing destruction to the land and water bodies. That’s what we need. We are seeking to introduce cooperative mining where the youth can organize themselves into groups and there would be mining safety officers to ensure they do the right thing.”
John Dramani Mahama at the place also reiterated his promise to introduce what he calls the “10 Billion Big Push” where US$ 2 billion would be set aside towards infrastructural development in various parts of the country each year for a period of five years, should he be elected as president in the December polls.
According to him, infrastructural projects will cover the areas of health, education, roads among others.
Major road infrastructure projects he cited under the initiative will include the dualization of the Accra-Kumasi road, Accra to Cape Coast Road and Accra to Aflao road.
He has also indicated that he will ensure the completion of the Eastern Corridor road as well as construct a number of roads in the Bono, Bono East and the Ahafo regions.
The former President further indicated that he would consider railway development as a priority should he be elected as President.