The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor says the government will pursue the findings and recommendations of the Prof. Amankwah led 5-member Committee to review the Health and Safety regime for the mining industry.
Receiving the report of the committee on Monday, March 14, 2022, Mr Jinapor said the goverment will thoroughly study the report and pursue to the latter, the findings and recommendations provided by the team.
“Government is going to take the findings and recommendations of this report very seriously and we are going to pursue them to the latter. Of course, we will study the report and make our own conclusions and views about the content of the report.”
“I have no doubt that if not all, most of the findings and recommendations which have been made by this Committee will be taken on board and implemented” he indicated.
Mr Jinapor added that considering the expertise of the Committee chair and members, he is confident that the findings of the reports provided will indeed be an invaluable asset which will guide matters to do with the health and safety regime of the mining sector in Ghana.
He said these recommendations are going to be implemented to ensure that the Appiatse incident does not re-occur.
“What we want to ensure is a mining sector which is fit for purpose, which is serving the people, contributing to the national economy and which is safe so that we do not have a recurrent of what occurred at Appiatse and that’s exactly what we want to forestall” he stressed.
The Minister reiterated the commitment of the President Akufo-Addo government, to be utterly transparent in the management of the Lands and Natural Resources of the country saying that the Ministry will continue to serve the nation in the context of the best standards of integrity and fidelity.
On behalf of the government, he expressed gratitude to the committee for the extensive work done.
“We couldn’t have assembled a better team than we did giving the expertise the five of you bring to the table. The expertise of diverse areas with enormous experience from your various fields. We are very grateful for such extensive work done.”
Presenting the report, the Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Richard Amankwah who doubles as Vice-Chancellor of the George Grant University of Mines and Technology ( UMaT) disclosed that they sent out 20 letters to various entities and professional bodies to source out information which will aid their investigative work to which some responded.
He added that to get the job done, they also engaged certain captains in the industry who gave presentations to the Committee on explosives, fire suppression, and systems to track the movement of explosives in the country.
He said he believes that the findings and recommendations made are broadly appropriate, however considering the dynamic nature of the mining industry, it will be suitable if these findings are reconsidered every now and then and tweaked to bring it up to speed to the changing trends of the industry.
Prof. Amankwah said he is of the belief that the recommendations they have made in various respects will make the regulatory framework more amenable in managing the health and safety dimensions of the mining sector.
The Lands Minister set up the committee on February 7, 2022 following the Appiatse explosion incident which claimed 13 lives and destroyed the entire Appiatse community.
The other members of the Committee are Prof. Grace Ofori-Sarpong, a professor representing the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Ms. Effie Oppong-Fosu, representing the Ghana Bar Association, Mr. Benjamin Aryee, a former Chief Executive Officer of the Minerals Commission, and Mr. Kwesi Enyan, a former Inspector of Mines, and a former Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti.