The Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, says he will continue the fight against illegal mining, popularly called ‘galamsey’, without fear or favour when given the nod by the Appointments Committee of Parliament.
Anything short of this, he said, will not only amount to failure of his mandate but disappointing President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
According to him, the President is seriously committed to addressing the galamsey menace and that any failure on his part as sector minister will be a big disappointment.
He gave this assurance at his yesterday’s vetting after MP for Odododiodio, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, a member of the Committee, had expressed fears that the Lands and Natural Resources Minister-designate would not be able to tackle the galamsey issue in the face of sabotage by some members from his own party.
Mr Jinapor however said sabotage is nothing new in either NPP or NDC administrations, adding that former Lands and Natural Resources ministers like Collins Dauda, Peter Amewu and Asoma Cheremeh can attest to that.
According to him, these former sector ministers faced challenges and frustrations from party members during their tenure of office but managed to sail through.
He said he has his eye on the ball and will, with determination and zeal, also deliver on his mandate.
In a response to a question posed by another member of the Committee, as to how his ministry will see to the effective exploitation and production of non -traditional minerals like salt, lime and clinker, Mr Jinapor said some measures would be put in place to address that.
He noted that although salt is already being exploited in commercial quantities in some parts of the country, including the Songhor Lagoon, there is the need for the establishment of a Salt Development Authority in Ghana to regulate the value chain of the mineral as being done in Nigeria.
Digitization of land
After commending Parliament for passing Act 1036, which, among other things, ensures digitization of land acquisition processes in the county, Mr Jinapor said there is still room for improvement .
Responding to another question on his ability to deliver as the youngest cabinet and sector minister in the Akufo-Addo administration, the former deputy Chief of Staff said he does not see age as a barrier to performance, after working with the President in and outside government for many years and also being inspired by colleagues like Haruna Iddrissu who became a communications minister at age 39.
He however expressed readiness to deepen his knowledge by learning and consulting stakeholders in the industry.