Changing of the character, entails the establishment of processing factories to absorb the growing supply of raw materials in the agriculture and Minerals industries.

 Nana Kwabena Nketsia iv
Nana Kwabena Nketsia iv

According to Nana Kwabena Nketsia iv, who is the Omanhene of Esikado in the Secondi Takoradi Metropolis, noted in an interview in a documentary by the institute of financial and economic journalist (IFEJ) that, Ghana has all the natural mineral resources we can talk of. Such as gold, diamond, manganese, timber, boxite, oil and to name a few but then, we don’t add any value to them.

Nana said, we would not only be adding value but, would also create more jobs for the teeming Ghanaian youth and sustain industries on the account of persistent falling commodity prices in the international markets.

“Much as African countries were making some significant impact in industrialisation and processing, most of the states are still import-dependent and suggested that, countries should leverage themselves in areas that they were comparatively superior” Nana said.
The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini has also hinted that, government could leverage on the expertise of the Precious Minerals Marketing Company (PMMC) as a springboard to establish a “Gold City” in Ghana, modeled along the lines of similar facilities in Dubai-United Arab Emirates and Johannesburg-South Africa.

“The multimillion dollar facility, when set up will add value to minerals produced in the country. Ghana is noted for the production of gold, diamond, manganese and bauxite, while iron ore is yet to be mined” he disclosed.

He made the disclosure when he visited PMMC, as part of his familiarisation tour of agencies under his Ministry.
Alhaji Fuseini, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Tamale Central, declared that “The world class facility will provide a unique opportunity for the accelerated transformation of the mining industry in Ghana, through enhanced value addition by offering an excellent platform to nurture, sharpen and develop the skills of our indigenous craftsmen to international standards.“

He, therefore, charged the management of PMMC to submit for consideration of government a strategy spelling out the necessary modalities, specific guidelines and timeframes for the implementation of the project, and stressing that “this could help to recapitalize the organization”

He underscored the importance of PMMC as a key stakeholder in the management and utilization of the nation’s mineral resources as the value they add to the minerals to earn more income for the country, than the raw minerals exported by mining companies.

But on the big bucks level, that is the added value manufacturing and industry level, it hasn’t been successful. That is partly because Ghana, like many African countries, in the 1980s and 1990s was effectively de-industrialised by the structural adjustment policies advocated by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

We heard of a new gas plant which is running behind schedule that, when it is finished, would be making fertilizer which will go into agriculture and be the basis of an agro-allied industry. Yet nothing seems to be surfacing.

Speaking to a section of some Ghanaians, they indicated that, now Ghana is very rich in oil, yet we pay high utility bills, transport, food stuffs and many more as the day goes by. The big dilemma is, how to explain this to the ordinary Ghanaian?.

The fact of the matter is that, Ghana is still dependent on importation of refined petroleum products from outside the country. It does have an oil refinery, but that refinery has been mismanaged and is constantly in debt and has been underperforming.

Often they can’t afford to buy the crude oil they need to refine, although Ghana itself is producing its own oil. Now the plans for the next five to 10 years, are to address those issues and build another refinery and in the president’s state of the nation address in 2014, he spoke about bringing in new investors for the existing refinery at Tema.

Two years down the lane, we can only see a nine day wonder action. Though Ghana is seen as a country that wins a lot of praise around the world, that is one of the biggest gold producers in Africa, and the second biggest producer of cocoa in the world and now it’s got oil and gas.

Source : newsghana.com.gh / Sammy Adjei.

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