Group wants Transport Minister investigated over excavator saga

Group wants Transport Minister investigated over excavator saga

A Group calling itself Alliance for Truth Justice Accountability Ghana (ATJAG), has urged the  government to investigate  the Minister of Transport, Mr.Kwaku Ofori Asiamah over how a huge number of excavators landed in the country after placing a ban on the importation of excavators.

The Organisation indicated that in the latter part of April, 2019, the Minister for Transport, Mr. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, announced that cabinet had imposed a ban on the importation of excavators and heavy-duty digging machines.

The ban subsequently took effect from May 1, 2019. Since then, the only person authorized by cabinet to sign before an excavator could be brought in to the country, was Mr.Kwaku Ofori Asiamah.

“This has become necessary following government’s decision to combat the illegal mining phenomenon, popularly referred to as galamsey.” The statement explained and, accordingly, urged the public to take note of the directive.

The ATJAG further stated that Mr. Asiamah said the government was committed to the fight against galamsey and was bent on instating measures aimed at curbing the menace.

On the issue of the fate of excavators which has been shipped and are in the transit prior to the ban, the Group noted that  Mr. Asiamah said “the importers would have to provide documents to show they indeed imported the excavators before the ban.”

“Illegal mining, he stated had destroyed part of Ghana’s Forest cover and water bodies and it was, therefore, important for all to support government’s efforts to fight illegal mining,” The Group quoted the Transport Minister.

Contrary to the above, the Group identified that recently, there has been reports of large numbers of excavators, mostly brand new, being burnt by the military taskforce sent into the bush to fight illegal mining.

“Our group believes if the ban imposed by cabinet had been strictly enforced, Ghana’s forests and river bodies would not have been inundated with excavators,” the ATJAG stated.

It therefore called on government to institute probe and to have Mr. Asiamah answer how many excavators he allowed to be imported in to the country since May 1st, 2019.

It urged government to question the Minster if it was true that officers of his Ministry charged a pecuniary fee of $5.000.00 for every machine allowed into the country.

“How many caterpillars and excavators were registered by the Driver, Vehicle, and Licensing Authority (DVLA)? What methods has his ministry put in place to monitor and ensure that these machines went to the purpose for which they were imported?” the Group urged government to ask the Minister these questions.

By: Stella Annan |myactiveonline.com

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