poverty
poverty

The discovery of natural mineral resources has brought a lot of blessings to many countries, as well as bottlenecks.

poverty
poverty

Countries like Finland with little or without mineral resources have been able to tap into the blessings of endowed countries with their adequate and efficient human resources.

According to a global finance on the poorest countries in the world for 2015, Ghana placed 48 position with $ 4338. 37 out of 185 countries, despite the rich natural mineral resources.

The rankings, which were published by Valentino Pasquali in 2015 were based on the Gross Domestic Product as well as purchasing-power-parity per capita of a country, which compared the generalised differences in the cost of living and standards between countries.

The ranking for the richest countries left Ghana at 138th position out 185 countries.

It is not far from truth to believe that natural mineral resources in a country or a community should bestow a blessing rather than a bane.

Ghana is blessed with minerals resources which can be grouped into Metals [gold, bauxite, iron, and manganese], Precious stones [diamond], Industrial minerals [solar salt, limestone and dolomite].

A visit to Prestea Bogoso in the Western Region in January 2016 revealed that the indigenes were being subjugated at the expense of their naturally endowed Gold dust deposit.

One would feel the grief and the distrust in the minds of the people living in communities endowed with natural mineral resources against the government due to past experiences.

Ghanaian leaders should care more for the people who voted them into power than themselves or their offices.

The reality on the ground pointed to the fact that rightful owners of natural resources are being denied their benefits.

A Ghana News Agency (GNA) story dated November 10, 2016 headlined: “Ada Songor Salt, Women call for government intervention,” pointed to the women calling on the government to intervene on the issues surrounding the Songor lagoon. This is an issues echoing in other parts of the country.

In an interaction with the GNA at what the people called the National Forum, which was on the theme: “Songor for all,” the women expressed disappointment that the chiefs were not present at the forum even though they were invited.

Mr Albert Apetorgbor, an opinion leader and a Songor Lagoon Advocate, alleged that the chiefs and other dignitaries invited to the forum were warned by the government not to attend.

Meanwhile, upon further interrogation, it was revealed that the chiefs made a claim that they were not served with official invitations to the programme.

Mr Apetorgbor however said even though the notices got to them late, the government and chiefs representatives could have sent a delegation to represent them.

Narrating the history of the Songor lagoon, Mr Apetorgbor who is a also former Civil Servant, said there had been horrific moments where pregnant women had been shot dead due to armed military men sent to the community for the sake of the salt in the lagoon.

This story was identified with that of Prestea as was narrated by Mr Dominic Nyame on January 2016 during a field trip.

This is not the situation of only Prestea and Ada Songor but it cuts across the entire nation as could be seen from the areas with rich natural resources like Keta, Ketu and Obuasi.

The Way forward

The government must ensure the implementation of the laws binding mineral resources like the Provisional Defence Council Council (PNDC) Law 287, which entitles the people of Songor to be major beneficiaries of the mineral resources.

When this is done, the people living in rich lands can also be rich and provide the needs of the home.

If Ghana wants to benefit from the abundant natural resources, the nation must develop the human capital to take over the exploitation of the mineral resources God has blessed the country with.

The government should enact implementable laws to prevent the tremendous siphoning of the country’s resources into other economies.

Considering the resources that the Ghanaians are endowed with, there is nothing more that is needed than competent leadership and adequately developed human resources in a corruption-free atmosphere.

By: Valentino Pasqualil/GNA

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.