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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Minerals Commission, Dr. Tony Aubyn, has indicated that the economic survival of Ghana depends on how government treats the Western region.

Business24

According to him, the sharp contrast between the resource endowment in the region and its development required a carefully thought plan to see the transformation the region requires.

Speaking at a public lecture in Takoradi under the auspices of the Sekondi Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Aubyn said: ?The economic survival of Ghana will depend on what government will do, and how they will treat the Western Region, otherwise it is quiet true, as other scholars have alluded to, that Ghana?s survival will be a challenge.?

He observed that presently, the region is the leading producer of cocoa, coconut and rubber, adding that it is also one of the well suited areas for oil palm production which brought about Uniliver Ghana Limited?s Benso Oil Palm Plantation (BOPP).

?Today, over 80 per cent of total mining area is located in the region not forgetting that the western Nzema area has very high quality limestone upon which the country?s cement and glass factories can rely.?

Dr. Aubyn who hails from the Western region mentioned that ?the proven but yet to be
exploited iron ore deposit at Oppongmanso is estimated to have over 25 per cent of exploitable bauxite and can have a valuable by-product if the valuable iron deposits are exploited.?

He was, however, quick to add that ?in spite of the vast economic potential of the region, the region was beleaguered with a myriad of developmental challenges that required serious strategic thinking and concerted effort to address.?

?The region lags behind compared to the two industrial regions of the country, Greater Accra and Ashanti. The lack of infrastructural development has been the major deficit. There are times that people will mention the Sefwi road, the Nzema road etc., not because these roads are good but they are terrible.?

Dr. Aubyn therefore proposed the creation of an independent and ?selfish? think-tank to lead the road for the development the region requires.

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