Mahama ‘Plagiarizes’ Bawumia’s Mining Policy?  

Former President and flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani Mahama, has been accused of rehashing aspects of policy proposal espoused by his contender, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, to build a robust small-scale mining sector.

According to critics, a careful scrutiny of Mr Mahama’s proposals for the sector, shows no difference of what his main contender, has laid out and continuous to reiterate.

The former president at an event, criticized the Akufo-Addo administration of mishandling the small-scale mining sector, and lacking the idea to revamp the sector for its growth and benefit of all.

Speaking at the third annual Transformational Dialogue on Small-Scale Mining at the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR) at Fiapre in the Bono Region on Wednesday, May 15, Mr Mahama, proposed that if elected again, his government would establish district mining offices in all mining areas in the country.

“Firstly, we propose the establishment of district mining offices in all mining areas in the country

Staffed by officers from the Minerals Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other agencies, these offices will usher in a new era of transparency and efficiency, streamlining the application process for mining licenses and fostering hope and optimism among small-scale miners,” he said.

He went on: “To support these efforts, we plan to amend the Minerals and Mining Act to grant district mining offices a legal mandate to issue mining licenses. This would decentralise the licensing regime and increase the number of regulated small-scale mining companies and youth employment, particularly under the 24-hour economy policy”.

However, these proposals by the NDC flagbearer, have been flagged as nothing new, but rehash of policy initiatives already outlined by Dr. Bawumia during his recent public address to unveil his vision and priorities for Ghana.

According to the critics, Mr Mahama’s plan to dencentralise regulatory agencies like the Minerals Commission, Environmental Protection Agency among others by established offices at district levels in mining communities are policies his opponent had talked about to build the sector if given the chance.

They mentioned that, the NDC presidential candidate’s promise to involve traditional rulers in the regulation of the small-scale mining sector is also a rehash of what Vice President Dr. Bawumia had already said.

Bawumia’s policy

Recalled, Dr Bawumia ,while unveiling his vision for the sector at event in Accra on February 7, this year said, “My government will support the Minerals Commission and key stakeholders to formalize the Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector with the objective of ensuring that the activities of the entire value chain are sustainably and responsibly done so that most of the gold produced by this sector can be sold to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and be eligible to be part of the gold reserves of the central bank.”

He said, in line with this, his government “will license all miners doing responsible mining District Mining Committees, including chiefs, will provide initial temporary licenses to miners.”

“As long as miners mine within the limits of their licenses, e.g no mining in river or water bodies, there will no longer be any seizure or burning of excavators.”

“I will fully decentralize the Minerals Commission as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and ensure that they are present in all mining districts.”

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