The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Samuel A. Jinapor has asserted that President Akufo-Addo did not defend Akonta Mining Company Limited when he claimed that the company is not involved in any illegal mining anywhere in Ghana currently.
President Akufo-Addo at the 28th National and 16th Biennial Congress of the National Union of Ghana Catholic Diocesan Priests Association held in Koforidua on Wednesday said “Let me respond briefly to the chairperson on the issue of illegal mining. I want to assure him and all of you that Akonta Mining is not engaged in any illegal mining anywhere in Ghana as we speak.”
The Minister while responding to the comment clarified on Newsnight that the President was talking about the present and not the past.
“President did not say Akonta Mining had done no wrong, not at all. The President was addressing the Catholic priests Association in Koforidua. The Association raised an issue with the issue of Akonta Mining and in response, the President said as we speak, Akonta Mining is not engaged in any illegal mining activity in any forest reserve. That is a statement of fact.
“It was an assurance he was giving to the catholic priests as a way of response when they expressed anxiety about the alleged activities of Akonta Mining.
Many people have interpreted the President’s comment as a defence of the mining company owned by New Patriotic Party’s Ashanti Region Chairman, Bernard Antwi-Boasiako popularly known as Chairman Wontumi.
However, the Lands Minister speaking on Newsnight on Wednesday said the President’s claim was a statement of fact.
“The President did not speak about anything to do with the past, he was speaking about what is the state of affairs today and it was an assurance,” Samuel Abu Jinapor noted.
Mr. Jinapor, referring to the President’s speech said the Lands Ministry is taking steps to cordon off the 295 forest reserves in the country and prevent any illegal mining activity.
It would be recalled that the said company was stopped from mining in the Tano Nimiri forest reserve in October 2022 by the Lands Ministry.
According to the Ministry, even though Akonta Mining Limited had a mining lease to undertake mining operations in some parts of Samreboi, outside the Forest Reserve, the company had no mineral right to undertake any mining operations in the Tano Nimiri Forest Reserve.
The Special Prosecutor is currently investigating the matter.
Source: Ghana News