The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Mr Samuel Abdulai Jinapor says he will work closely with traditional rulers in the Volta region to ensure that the region’s natural resources are protected even as the government prospect minerals in the region. Mr Jinapor is in the Volta region on a two-day working visit between today 13th December to Tuesday 14th December as part of the final leg of his nationwide tour.
In a meeting with members of the Region House of Chiefs, the sector Minister said he was positive that there could be gold deposits scattered in the region. He urged the members of the House to support the ministry’s investment and investigative drive as the government hopes to discover these deposits.
“Government is determined to work closely with the Region House of Chiefs on matters to do with the management of lands and other resources of Volta region. I want to commit to paying attention to your advice, concerns, and inputs because that is the only way we can achieve results. I am determined for us to enhance the exploration, perspective, recognisance of minerals here in the Volta region,” he said.
Mr Jinapor hinted that it was time the narrative of Chiefs being at the background in natural resources exploitation changed. He pledged that Chiefs will play active roles in the administration of natural resources of the country under his tenure.
“I believe the traditional rulers must be the fulcrum around which land administration revolves because if you want to manage the lands and natural resources of a country and do it effectively, you have to collaborative closely with the Chiefs and it’s the only way we can manage this.”
The Minister announced a plan by the government to organise a sensitisation programme on the new Land Act, (Act 2020). He acknowledged illegal logging, sand wining, land encroachment, and forest reserves issues in the region assuring stakeholders that it will be duly managed.
President of the Volta Region House of Chiefs, Togbe Tepre Hodo IV hinted that he is pleased with the assurances from the minister. On behalf of the members, Togbe Hodo committed to supporting in all ways deemed fit towards achieving the common goal of responsible resource exploitation.
The House, however, want the laws regarding land administration amended to give Chiefs the legal backing to afford them the power to actively work with the government in the management of lands and natural resources.
In another meeting with staff of the Ghana Boundary Commission, Mr Jinapor charged them to see the Chiefs as allies in their work to protect the territories of the region.