Government not targeting Chinese nationals- Quakyi-Ofosu

galamseyMr. Felix Quakyi-Ofosu, a Deputy Minister for Information and Media Relations, said that the recent arrest and deportation of illegal small scale miners in Ghana was not targeted at only Chinese nationals.

He said, “Government wishes to state that it has a responsibility to protect the environment and force persons engaged in illegalities to comply with the laws of the land irrespective of which country they are coming from”.

Mr. Quakyi-Ofosu made the remarks during the daily briefing at the Flagstaff House, Kanda, Accra, on Wednesday.

He said, “other nationals of Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso in addition to Chinese nationals had been deported and it is, therefore, a misrepresentation to say we were targeting only Chinese”.

Mr. Quakyi-Ofosu was responding to a media conference, organized by some Chinese on Tuesday in Accra, to register their displeasure at alleged maltreatment meted out to their nationals at mining areas of the country.

The Deputy Minister noted that when President John Mahama inaugurated an inter-ministerial task force to deal with illegal mining, it was given terms of reference and mandate.

He said the task force was going by the mandate and it would ensure that all those who breach the laws of Ghana would be punished accordingly.

Mr. Quakyi-Ofosu appealed to the media to be circumspect in their reportage as some falsehood spewed to the public over the weeks had misrepresented the realities on the ground and negated government’s determination to ensure sanity in the mining industry.

He said although those falsehoods had not affected the cordial relations between Ghana and China, the media should desist from write-ups that could jeopardize the good relations between the two countries.

Mr. Quakyi-Ofosu said the government of Ghana was talking with Chinese officials on the development and wondered why some people should allege that government was targeting only Chinese in the exercise.

On the immigration of other nationals into the country, he said government would monitor all immigrants to ensure that they complied with the reasons they were offered visas to come to Ghana.

“Most of these people indicate in their visas that they are coming to Ghana for business partnerships, conferences and meetings and end up getting themselves into illegal issues that subsequently incur the displeasure of Ghanaians,” Mr. Quakyi-Ofosu said.

The Deputy Minister gave the assurance that government would punish traditional authorities who would condone with foreigners to carry out unacceptable practices that degrade the environment.

He cautioned all stakeholders against the use of the media to condemn the government without checking their facts.

Mr. Quakyi-Ofosu said, “Government and the task force for that matter will continue to carry out its mandate in so far as it does not contradict their terms of reference”.

Source: GNA

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