The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, paid a three-day working visit to Operation VANGUARD’s area of operations.
The visit, which was from Monday 19 to Wednesday 21 of August, was to enable him establish first-hand the progress the Taskforce was making in the fight against illegal mining and challenges personnel were facing in the discharge of their duties. Additionally, he took the opportunity to assure them of government’s unfailing support for the Taskforce in the fight against illegal mining.
During the tour which took him to the Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) of the Taskforce in the Eastern, Ashanti, Central and Western Regions, Prof Boateng emphasized the need for effective coordination between all elements engaged in the fight. He also visited some sites within the area.
At Akatakyieso, in the Amansie Central District in the Ashanti Region, he addressed a community gathering on some areas of concern. He expressed displeasure both on his part and that of Op VANGUARD over unfounded allegations with regards to bribery involving some of the Taskforce’s personnel.
Regarding the just launched Community Mining initiative, he stated that government’s interest was not in halting small scale mining but rather to ensure that it is done responsibly.
He extended President Nana Akuffo Addo’s appreciation for the effort the Taskforce was making and its success so far in the fight against illegal mining and commended the Op VANGUARD Taskforce for their professionalism and dedication to duty. He furthermore expressed satisfaction on actions taken against members of the Taskforce who go against regulations.
The Minister, who was accompanied by the Director General for Joint Operations of the Armed Forces, Brig Gen Mahama Abdulai, was conducted around the field by the current Operation VANGUARD Commander, Col William Nortey and his Staff.