Mr Richard Ellimah, Executive Director of Centre for Social Impact Studies, a non-profit organisation on Friday tasked government to adequately provide funding and resources to the Minerals Commission to carry out its mandate.
Mr Ellimah noted that a fraction of monies voted for Operation Vanguard to carry out its work should have been given to the Commission to carry out its duties.
According to him, the commission mandated to check activities of illegal mining in the country had only six offices nationwide and few staff to go around and check the activities.
Mr Ellimah stated at a two-day African Conference on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining and Quarry held at the Shippers House in Accra.
The conference was organised by Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining and Quarry Hub, a non-governmental organisation in collaboration with University of Queensland in Australia, International Labour Organisation, the Ghana National Association of Small-Scale Mining.
The two-day conference seeks to create an echo system or platform, where all stakeholders could come together to dialogue and interact to find proactive solutions to the challenges facing the sector and to maximise its economic potentials.
In all, 120 participants from eight different African countries were in attendance.
Mr Ellimah said if the commission was strengthened in terms of resources such as drones among others, it could be held accountable for their operations.
“Strengthen the Minerals Commission’s ability to regulate the industry, a fraction of the money offered to Operation Vanguard could be given to it to carry out its mandate.
“Now I can see that the Commission has been sidelined and much attention is on Operation Vanguard,” he said.
According to him, the Operation Vanguard made up of Soldiers and Police officers would soon be asked to go back to the barracks someday, so it was proper to strengthen the commission instead of the security team.
“Why do we spend more money on Operation Vanguard and starve the Minerals Commission,” he quizzed.
Mr Ellimah said the challenge of small-scale mining and operation was “a simple problem of regulatory failure,” adding, that could be attributed to the non-adherence of regulations.
The Executive Director of Centre for Social Impact Studies urged all to desist from bastardising the activities of ASM and concentrate on the positive economic benefits to the country.
He said it would be proper for government to improve governance of ASM’s so they could provide more jobs for the youth.
Mr Ellimah further tasked government to review the stability agreement signed between Large Scale Mining Firms and government so that the country would derive more benefits from such agreements.
According to him, a look at the country’s review stability agreement on Mining seemed to favour the large Miners thereby starving the country of its profits.
Dr Ishmael Quacoe, founder of ASM Hub described the conference as first of its kind and the participants would be taken through topics such as “Reducing child labour and Improving working condition in ASM sector and Opportunities and challenges for women in Small Scale Mining and Development Mineral’s Supply chain.