Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, is expected to take his turn with the Appointments Committee of Parliament on February 24, 2021.
Mr. Jinapor, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Damango Constituency, if approved by the committee, will succeed Mr. Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh whose tenure was characterised with lots of challenges.
In respect of the challenges, Ghanaians expect the Minister-designate to answer questions on key issues like the Agyapa Royalties deal.
It would be recalled that issues pertaining to the deal created so much discourse in the country in the last half of the year 2020 leading to the then Special Presecutor Martin Alamisi Amidu’s corruption risk assessment of the deal and his subsequent resignation.
It is, therefore, anticipated that he would update the public on steps government intends to take or has taken after reports on the corruption risk assessment of the deal has been served to the President.
Ghanaians also look forward to hearing the MP speak on issues of illegal small scale mining popularly known as “galamsey.”
This is due to several complaints and reports that have been filed of operators whose actions have destroyed the lands and water bodies rendering them unfit for use.
In addition, it is expected that the thoughts and plans of the Minister-designate will be sought on problems associated with land acquisition and encroachment issues that have plagued the system especially with government organizations.
Due to trends that have surfaced in vetting of Minister-designates on issues of misconducts and their investigations, there is a likelihood that Mr. Jinapor will answer questions associated with bribery and corruption allegations that have been levelled against some persons in the first term of President Akufo-Addo under the ministry.
Putting that in perspective, in 2017, a committee—Inter-ministerial Committee on Illegal Mining (IMCIM)—was set up to push the fight against illegal mining.
The committee was later dissolved following bribery and corruption allegations that were leveled against the chairman of the committee, Charles Bissue, who was caught in an investigative report receiving bribe.
Some have asserted that it is the corrupt practices of persons put in charge to fight the menace that have hindered the ministry’s progress and further caused their relapse.
Ghanaians would, therefore, want to know what his ministry under his leadership would do to minimize corruption and intensify the fight against illegal mining.
About Samuel Abu Jinapor
He is currently serving his first term as MP for Damango Constituency which is located in West Gonja district of the Savannah Region, northern Ghana.
Until his appointment as Minister-designate for Lands and Natrual Resources, he was the Deputy Chief of Staff in charge of Operations in President Akufo-Addo’s first term of office.
He is a lawyer who was called to the Ghana Bar in 2012 after he had graduated from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics and specialised in Biomedical Physics.