Convener for the Media Coalition Against Illegal Mining, Dr. Ken Ashigbey, says President Akufo-Addo ought to be a bit more forceful in dealing with the menace of galamsey if he intends to defeat it.
According to him, the president’s inaction over the past two years Professor Frimpong Boateng’s report had sat on his desk was not evident of a man who had promised to risk his presidency to rid the country of illegal mining and its devastation on the environment.
“So you’d want to see some actions being taken. And you know sometimes you look again and there’s a statement from the presidency saying that some investigations will be done and somebody from the presidency issues that particular statement. But we need to be seeing the president who has consistently said that he is ready to fight this thing be a bit more forceful in dealing with this issue,” he said.
Speaking on PM Express on JoyNews, Dr. Ashigbey further noted that this government has failed to show their seriousness in the fight against galamsey even when ample opportunity presented itself.
“Evans, are you surprised that since the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources refer to Akonta mining of being involved in an illegality, and I have seen ample evidence, it’s the same way as Heritage Imperial of the fact that what they were doing in the forest reserve was mining, and they did not have a permit to do that.
“And that is an illegality, that is a sin against the Minerals and Mining Act and what has happened? The CID is supposed to be looking into that. What has happened to that? The former DCE for Bososmefreho who was caught on tape confessing to a crime, what has happened to that?” he said.
He stressed that till the government fishes out and prosecutes the ‘big men’ financing the illicit gold trade, the menace will continue and its effect on the environment will be direr.
“Till we start going after the supposed big people, and I agree with Charles Bissue when he talks about it, it’s not only people who are in government, anybody who is in including Kenneth Ashigbey if I’m found to be involved in it, till we start going after these people, the fight is going to be difficult.
“Because the people on the ground see it and know that the people buying the gold from them, financing these things are very highly connected people. And we’re not doing anything about them so how dare us come back to them and come and ask them ‘why are you engaging in this particular illegality?’
“So I think it is important that all of us draw a line in the sand and say at this particular point we’re going to go after everybody who is involved in it.”
Gov’t to restrict importation of rice, ‘yemuadie’ and other products
The government is set to lay before Parliament today, November 21, a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) seeking to restrict the importation of selected strategic products into the country.
The items, numbering over 20, will include rice, tripe (popularly called “yemuadie” in Ghana), and diapers.
The government said the move is part of efforts to enhance local production.
Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T Hammond said, “Stomach of animals, bladder and the chunk of intestines (yemuadie), the country had had to put in an amount of about $164 million towards the importation of these items. We are taking steps to ensure that in terms of rice, there’s no poverty of rice in the country.”
He emphasized, “By these restrictions, we are not going to ensure that there’s no food in the country at all; that is not the point at all. There have to be some efforts by the government to ensure that we go back to Acheampong’s operation feed yourself. There are about 22 items on the list, one of them, I think, is diapers.”
He announced the introduction of the Ghana Standards Authority Regulations 2023, which also seeks to streamline the manufacturing of cement to ensure competitive pricing.
Mahama doesn’t understand 24hr economy; don’t vote for him – Bawumia
Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says former President John Dramani Mahama does not understand the 24-hour economy policy he is proposing.
According to the Vice President, that policy is already being implemented in the country, as hospitals, fuel companies, among others, operate a 24-hour system.
Dr. Bawumia, therefore, urged Ghanaians to ignore Mahama during the 2024 polls since he has nothing new to offer and vote for the New Patriotic Party.
“John Mahama says he has a new idea. What is the idea? He says he wants a 24-hour economy. He doesn’t even understand that policy. Today in Ghana, our hospitals work 24 hours, our electricity company works 24 hours, our water company works 24 hours, our fuel stations work 24 hours, and many chop bars work 24 hours. Today because of digitalisation, you can transfer money 24 hours, you can receive money 24 hours… So he doesn’t understand his own policy. It doesn’t make sense.”
“So I want you to vote for me in 2024 because I will bring a new vision, I will bring a new policy. Mahama is the past, Dr Bawumia is the future. If John Mahama was there, we would say we have a dumsor economy, you can’t have a 24-hour economy in dumsor. So, you want to vote for Dr Bawumia in 2024, we will take the country to new heights,” Dr Bawumia stated.
Bagbin rebukes IMF over alleged pressure to pass some bills under certificate of urgency
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of pressuring the House to pass a number of bills under a certificate of urgency.
Mr. Bagbin cited bills such as the Affirmative Action Bill, which is allegedly being pushed by the IMF as part of the conditionality for the balance of the $3 billion credit facility for Ghana.
Speaking at the Speaker’s Breakfast Meeting on Monday, Alban Bagbin insisted that the House will not be coerced by the IMF to pass the bill.
“Even in this budget, you can see the arm of the IMF in a lot of provisions in the budget. A critical bill like the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill has come to Parliament under a certificate of urgency. Please, it won’t happen; we won’t pass it under a certificate of urgency.”
“There are critical stakeholders we must consult and make sure we go together. We will not be dictated by the IMF; that one, you can be assured. This is a very critical bill that the IMF should know that we need the buy-in of the stakeholders to be able to implement it,” Alban Bagbin said.
The Affirmative Action Bill, when passed into law, would seek to expunge the historically low representation of women in decision-making spaces and promote democracy and development through all-inclusive participation.