Minister worries about production of illegal weapons in Ghana

Dr. Kwasi Apea-Kubi, Deputy Minister of the Interior, has expressed concern about the production of illegal firearms by some blacksmiths and said this was fuelling armed robberies, communal conflicts, and chieftaincy disputes.

He has, therefore, warned offenders to stop the activity and rather concentrate on making positive contributions towards the socio-economic development of Ghana.

Dr Apea-Kubi was addressing members of the Ashanti Regional Branch of the Blacksmiths Association in Kumasi, as part of his working visit to the region.

The meeting afforded him the opportunity to learn the needs, capabilities and potentials of the members to determine the kind of assistance that the government could offer them.

He reminded them that it was against the law to manufacture firearms and said the government would closely monitor and prosecute those who engage in criminal acts.

Dr. Apea-Kubi, who is also the Chairman of the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms (GNACSA), however pointed out that it was not the intention of the government to throw them out of their jobs.

But the government, he said, was collaborating with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to build their capacities and extend credit facilities towards the expansion of their businesses.

The Deputy Minister urged them to concentrate on the production of bolts and nuts, hoes, cutlasses and other pruning implements, which would enhance productivity.

Dr. Apea-Kubi commended the blacksmiths for becoming a union and advised them to register their association with the Register General’s Department so that their activities would be given the due recognition.

Mr Philip Kwasi Nsiah, the Secretary, said the increasing rates of armed robbery, communal conflict and chieftaincy disputes were adversely affecting their image as they were blamed for the problems.

He appealed to the government to provide them with soft loans to enable them to diversify their products to contribute positively towards national development.

Source: GNA

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