The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) has certainly exposed itself in a recent media statement where at a meeting with President Donald Ramotar it called for the appointment of the acting Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC), Mr Rickford Vieira to be confirmed as Commissioner.
Editor, I find this call for the confirmation of the acting Commissioner by the GGDMA contradictory as the GGDMA represent miners, while the GGMC is the regulatory body that ensure compliance through monitoring and enforcement of the Mining Act and Regulations. It creates the impression that the GGDMA and the GGMC are bed mates for mutual benefit.
While the GGDMA in its statement called for the appointment of a Commissioner of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission, the association indicated that a confirmed commissioner is needed to manage and give direction to the mining industry, especially the gold and diamond sector, to address falling gold prices, rampant illegal mining and the upsurge of criminal activity in the hinterland of Guyana. If the acting Commissioner in his current capacity cannot function and issue directions effectively, why should the government consider his appointment as the commissioner?
I do hope that the government do not act in haste and fall prey to the GGDMA’s request to confirm the acting Commissioner, but rather evaluate his abilities to carry out his functions and responsibilities with the guidance of the Board of Directors and the subject ministry. Being in an acting appointment does not prevent anyone from performing their duties.
Therefore, I am of the conviction that confirmation of the acting Commissioner or any other government officer should be based on merits of an individual and not on friends of need.
Terence William (Sr)