Mr Wisdom Edem Gomashie, Special Assistant to the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources,Hon.Mireku Duker has called on the people of Buem in the Oti Region to leverage on Iron ore resources to develop the area.
Drawing into the controversies surrounding the discovery of iron ore in the Oti Region,the young politician made it clear that it is about time the people of the Oti region mobilize their resources for the development of the area.
According to him, the statements are his Personal Opinion as a trained Mining Engineer and should not be associated with anyone.
He was of the view that ,mining in Ghana dates back Pre-Colonial era and has remained a vital backbone of the Ghanaian economy and currently accounts for an average of 5% of the GDP, 40% of total merchandise exports and is a critical foreign exchange earner for our dear Nation.
Gold accounts for some 90% of our total mineral exports. (Chip in project work) .
“The cities of Tarkwa, Obuasi and Prestea may not be like those of Johannesburg in South Africa and Perth in Australia, among others highly developed through mining proceeds.
However, the exploitation of gold in Tarkwa and Obuasi has helped build their local economies till today.
Mr Chairman, Buem, and, by extension, the Oti region is blessed with mineral resources. Key amongst them is the Iron Ore deposit.
Ghana boasts over 6 billion tonnes of iron ore deposits at Sheini, Opong Manso, Pudo, Akpafu block and Akokrowa. As of the beginning of this year, my data indicated that the Akpafu block, which includes Baglo Kute and Jasikan Bodada, holds about 1.2 billion tonnes. In contrast, the Akokrowa block, which spans Kwamekrom, and Krachi-Nkwanta, holds some 3.2 billion tonnes.
Mr Chairman, developed countries such as the USA, China among others at their peak of development, did so through steel production and believes that Ghana is at the crossroads to produce its own iron rods and steel products to foster economic development and growth. “He added.
He revealed that,the multi-billion dollar industry is crucial to the government, hence, the establishment of the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC) by an act of Parliament (Act 988) in 2019 to help steer affairs.
Edem further noted that,already ,eight (8) companies have been granted prospecting licenses already and working hard to access the economically viability of the potentials in the region.
The above statistics indicate that Buem and Oti Region is well positioned to become the hub of iron and steel development in Ghana and, by extension, the West-Africa sub-region where upstream (from Mining) through to downstream (Smelting Plants) will be established in the area.
“I am particularly aware of some statements made by some revered Leaders in our communities against the exploitation of the deposit; I must say that they are concerned about the environment; they get worried seeing how galamsey has destroyed our water bodies and forest reserves through irresponsible actions.
I am confident that by bringing together all relevant stakeholders to the table and working hand-in-gloves with regulatory agencies and others, proper mining practices will be adhered to, which will help provide sustainable livelihoods and protect the environment.
Mining propels socio-economic development. Today, Goldfields Ghana Limited is almost done with a US$16 million Stadium for Tarkwa, Newmont currently constructing Ahafo-Kenyasi roads and a whole lot in mining communities.
To this end, I humbly call on Bueman to as soon as possible:
1. Start sending their Children to read Mining related courses (i.e. Mining, Geological, Mechanical);
2. Set up avenues to start training interested youth in the various Operating Skills;
3. Set up a vibrant Panel of Technical Indigenes (compile best practices, feed into engagements back home; 4. Set up a Movement for Responsible Mining;
5. Start lobbying the University of Mines and Technology to host a satellite campus in the Oti Region to train Mining Professionals in the area and other neighbouring countries;
6. Mineral Revenue Management.
When Mining starts today, all banks will troop to Jasikan, Private Hospitals, and Catering Companies. Many jobs will be created, hence the need to prepare our people. Once our people and non-indigenes working here become resourced, it will propel Jasikan’s development. Therefore, there is a need to translate this share of the world’s natural resources into sustainable development in Buem.
I call on all to support Nana and his team of elders with all their might and power as we put our best foot forward to make Jasikan.
Mr Chairman, in line with the appeal for funds, my Minister humbly donates GHc10,000.00 to support and has assured Nananom of his unflinching support at all times.
My keyword for today is that, as we mobilise the people of Buem, let us leverage our mineral resources to propel Buem’s development.”Edem made this known in a formal speech in an occasion of the 2ND Anniversary of the installation of Jasikanhene on Saturday July,1st 2023.
Source: Broadcastergh.com/Ayisah Foster