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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

After Thirteen Deaths at Appiate: EX-MINISTER DEFENDS MAXAM SECURITY

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Report by Collins FOSU-APPIAH

www.ghanareaders.com

Former Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Hon Inusah Fuseini says government’s decision to impose a $6 million fine on Maxam, the company at the center of Appiate explosion that led to the death of some 13 people and injured many is premature.

According to the former Tamale Central Legislator, Appiate accident is the first major accident that has happened within the mining communities from explosives and for that matter, for us to understand what happened at Appiate, in mining convections and practices and international best practices when accident of such nature happened they constitute a high-powered committee of enquiry to go into the activity and determine what are the regulatory and legal shortfalls that led to the incident.

Samuel Abdulai Jinapor- Minister For Lands and Natural Resources- Imposed $6 Million Fine

“We don’t just punish people, you have to investigate seriously and you must constitute the committee with people of expertise in capabilities. There should be police, mining explosive experts and insurance experts who will consider liabilities since there was a damage.”

Speaking in an exclusive interview on Anopa Nimdee Adwasuo in the Bono Region, the Private Legal Practitioner urged that because we do mining here in Ghana, we learn from countries that do mining on how to handle accidents and the legal regulatory regimes that need to put in place to regulate mining activities in the country.

“Here in Ghana, in 2012 we passed regulations, ‘Regulation 2177’ which is the Minerals and Mining Regulation for Explosives. If someone puts up a factory to manufacture explosives or someone is transporting explosives or if someone wants to use explosives in the mining sector, that person needs to get permit or license before the person can carry on such activity.”

Mr Fuseini indicated that ‘Regulation (2) of LI 2177’ constitutes Chief Inspector of Mines into a Chief Inspector of Explosives and all Inspectors of Mines are also inspectors of explosives and for that matter before someone can put up a factory to manufacture explosives, the inspector of mines or all Inspectors of mines would have to inspect the facility and make sure all the protocols needed to provide security and safety for factory workers and citizens are in place before operations can start.

It has a checklist with duties, obligations, rights, responsibilities, sanctions and penalties spelt out clearly for the manufacturer and the chief inspector of mines.

He added that the second part also has to do with the transportation of explosives from factory to mining site, which also spelt out the type of vehicle to transport the explosives, what should be in the vehicle, warming signals and how the vehicle should move. The chief inspector of mines has to make sure all safety protocols are in place before the vehicle set on the road.

“I have read Maxam’s statement and they said they have not breached any condition but they will pay the fine. So I can rationalise it, Maxam is an international company and they know internationally if a company like Maxam produce explosive and it kills people, they suffer reputational damage, so they want to be good corporate citizens so they are reaching out to ensure that people of Appiate do not surfer.”

“That is not culpability, culpability is punishing one for breach of conditions. It is different, so you can say that they are doing it because of sympathy because it disturbs them, but we as a country should identify those who are culpable and punish them.”

(The Daily Searchlight appears every day on the newsstands and for sale 24 hours every day and all week on www.ghananewstand.com. Visit www.ghananewstand.com for a wide variety of newspapers published in Ghana and from across the world.)

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