The Minority in Parliament has accused President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of inciting the youth in mining communities against mining firms operating in their areas.
President Akufo-Addo on Wednesday said the state of mining communities such as Obuasi, Tarkwa and Akwatia, is a disgrace to the country, as well as the mining companies.
He, therefore, called on players in the mining industry to join hands with the government to help transform mining communities in an intelligent and sustainable manner.
But the Minority says the President’s comment has the likelihood of endangering the lives of workers of mining firms in the country.
Speaking to the press in Parliament on Friday, the Minority Spokesperson on Energy, Adams Mutawakilu opined that the President was shirking his responsibility to the mining firms; and argued that he should rather ensure that royalties paid to the state are used to develop the communities.
“He’s shifting responsibilities to the mining companies because these mining companies in their agreements normally have trust funds and every year whatever they are supposed to contribute, they do it.
“And as a ranking member for mines and energy I have the opportunity to have interactions and presentations with them so I believe that the president is shifting responsibilities to the mining companies,” he stated.
“And that also expose the mining companies because if the youth thinks that it’s the mining companies that must provide homes, that must provide toilets, that must provide all the development needs of the town, the likelihood that they will rise up against these mining companies is high and I want to put it clear that the responsibility is not on the mining companies,” he further stated.
Mr Mutawakilu also faulted President Akufo-Addo for not forming the District Mining Committees Board that is to have an oversight responsibility on the use of royalties as per the Mineral Development Fund Act 2016.
“As we speak today, the board hasn’t been constituted and inaugurated. So if he [Akufo-Addo] actually wants to develop these communities, this should have been the first board that should have been constituted. But as we speak, one and a half years after he came into power, no board,” he said.