Accra, Aug. 22, GNA - The Minister for Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation and Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM), Prof Kwabena Frimpong Boateng has 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.
This was contained in a statement issued to the Ghana News Agency on Thursday by Captain Andy Sowatey, Public Relations Officer of Operation Vanguard.
The statement said, Professor Frimpong Boateng assured them of government’s unfailing support for the Taskforce in the fight against illegal mining.
The statement said, during the tour, which took him to the Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) of the Taskforce in the Eastern, Ashanti, Central and Western Regions, Prof Frimpong-Boateng emphasised the need for effective coordination between all elements engaged in the fight.
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 Operation 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 to ensure that it was done responsibly.
He extended President Nana Akufo Addo’s appreciation for the effort the Taskforce was making and its success so far in the fight against illegal mining and commended the Operation Vanguard Taskforce for their professionalism and dedication to duty.
He expressed satisfaction on actions taken against members of the Taskforce who went 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", the statement said.