President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has stated that the Country’s Parliament has amended the Mining Act and by so doing has prescribed stiffer punishment for persons who engage in illegal mining, popularly known as “Galamsey”.

The Amended Act he says came before him yesterday the 19th of August 2019 and he has accented to same.

Addressing members of the Council of State at the second meeting of the Council with the President for the year 2019 at the Jubilee House, President Akufo-Addo said the amendment of the mining law has heightened considerably the penalties for those who engage in illegal mining in the country.

“We are talking about minimum sentences of fifteen (15) years, maximum twenty five (25) years. We have also increased the punishment for foreigners who intervene illegally in this industry. We have had to take away some of the discretion of the Judges largely because with the greatest of respect, they are not cooperating on these matters” the President said.

Rationale for the Amendment

He further observed that” people are caught, fragrant act, they are taken to Court, granted bail, and at the end of the day they disappear”. “We thought it was important to take away the discretion from the Judges. It is unfortunate that that should be so because all of us should be able to trust the Judges also to do their bid in stamping out crime in our society it that hasn’t turned out to be the case. So this is another step that we have taken against this fight against Galamsey” President Akufo Addo added.

Banking Crisis

The President in his brief remarks noted that the Bank of Ghana’s inability to act responsibly in the past is largely the reason why the Country under his watch has had to engage in a clean up exercise in the financial sector.

“If the Bank of Ghana in the years before had acted responsibly and dealt with some of these issues that they had to deal with, we would not have gotten to the situation we are now” the President said.

Chairman of the Council of State

Chairman of the Council of State, Nana Otuo Siriboe, in his address commended government for reducing the tariff regime at the country’s ports of entry as a result of the advise of the Council of State. He indicated that the Council has engaged the Senior Minister on Government’s agenda on a “Ghana Beyond Aid”, the Electoral Commission on their preparedness ahead of election 2020. The Chairman of the Council after in remarks presented the second report of the Council of State for the period February 2018 to February 2019. Indicated that the report is in fulfillment of the pledge of the Council to present annual reports of their activities as the years go by. – Wilberforce Asare

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