The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor (MP) says government through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources has begun a nationwide clampdown on encroachers of quarry sites.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Daily Graphic on Tuesday, 5th April, 2022, Hon. Jinapor said a multi-stakeholder team comprising security persons and regulatory agencies is being deployed by the Ministry to as a matter of urgency, Halt illegal human settlement activities within various concessions.
The Minister explained that the exercise formed part of a gamut of measures the government was rolling out to protect Ghana’s quarry sector from imminent collapse.
He stressed that given the critical role the quarry played in national development, the lack of respect for regulations relating to quarry operations would no longer be countenanced.
The Minister was reacting to the Daily Graphic’s lead story in last Monday’s edition which said Ghana risked importing stones and other quarry products in the next 10 years if nothing was done to halt encroachment activities on the quarry concessions.
Against that backdrop, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister stressed that the fight to protect the quarry concessions would hinged on the enforcement of Regulations, 2012( L. I. 2177), which states that Manager of a quarry site shall ensure that for any explosion, there is 500 metre minimum Saftey distance between a blast and a person near the blast site.
Hon. Jinapor indicated that the Ministry was working on a proposal for quarries to be exempted from the list of minerals that needed ratification for their licences to be valid.
He further said an initiative had been rolled out by the government, through the Minerals Income Investment Fund (MIIF) to support quarry operations and entrepreneurs in the sector to boost their operations.
He also said as part of measures to rake in the needed royalties from quarries, an inter-agency taskforce had been formed to perform that special role.