Open Letter To The President To Avert A Likely Civil Disturbance

By Rapid Action To Solve The Current Crisis Of Economy Downturn And The Crisis In The Natural Environment
Feature Article Open Letter To The President To Avert A Likely Civil Disturbance
OCT 7, 2022 LISTEN

Dear Mr President

It is universal acknowledged that History repeats itself or as risk experts will say once something has happened, it will happen again, this is in confirmed in the Holy Bible at Eclestiatial 1.9 which declares that ‘The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun’’ the meaning of the quote, what has happened before will happen again. What has been done before will be done again. Therefore there is nothing new in the whole world.

So, Mr President it is very clear to even a baby that Ghana is in serious Crisis of economy downturn and a destruction of the natural environment by irresponsible mining activities which are not totally the making of your Administration but due to the increasing mismanagement of the economy effective 1982 thus the mismanagement by all administrations in the Fourth Republic including yours and the massive destruction of the environment effective 2008 by irresponsible mining activities respectively. But since both Crisis are almost peaking in your administration, you have to take the responsibility as the risk owner or and solve them because that is the purpose God made you the. President of Ghana.

Any of the Crisis or both of them may cause mayhem if no immediate action is taken to reverse both situation concurrently. Since, the buck stops with the President, so, you as the President must rise to the occasion to resolve the crisis. This required very good leadership by you and collective sense of nationalism by the citizenry with the dogma of Ghana First which must be based on the sense of Patriotism, Honesty and Discipline and Responsiveness,

Crisis according to the authors, of a book entitled the Fourth Turning, ‘’is an era of destruction, often involving Civil Disobedience or Revolution, in which institutional life is destroyed and rebuilt in response to a perceived threat to the nation's survival. After the crisis, civic authority revives, cultural expression redirects towards community purpose, and people begin to locate themselves as members of a larger group’’. Hence leads to the rise of Nationalism.

Ghana, our great nation after it has successfully sailed through the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, under your watch hence a very good job by you for reducing the casualty as occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic to the barest minimum, is now confronted with the aforementioned two main crisis threatening the existence of mankind, hence nationhood.

These two risks require a Crisis Management acumen, otherwise as stated in the Fourth Turning Book, the Crisis may provoke uprising. Remember Eclestiatial 1.9 decree that what has happened in the past my happen again. Hence the possibility of civil disturbances in Ghana cannot be over-emphasized. No one can tell when a likely civil disturbance may occur and how it may be as in the song or mantra ‘’que sera cera whatever will be will be because the future is not for us to see’’ lyrics. So you need to rise to the occasion.

As per the assertion at Eclestiatial 1.9, so for Ghana to contact the IMF for bail out for macro-economic stability for the 18th time was/is not a surprise issue. What was a surprise was the delay for contacting the IMF for a bail out for macro-economic stability. Sadly, or equally since Ghana experienced four successful coups and numerous attempted or foiled coups in the past including an alleged attempted one in 2019 by Dr Mac Palm and others against your infant administration in the first term, it is envisaged that considering the assertion at Eclestiatial 1.9, a popular Uprising (Civil Disobedience) may occur if the suffering get worsened or no immediate action is executed to halt the continuous massive destruction of the natural environment by irresponsible mining activities resulting in the destruction of rivers/water bodies for domestic usage, for potential industries especially for cheap mini-hydroelectric power projects, furthermore, the rapid rise in the destruction of Cocoa farms since 2008 with the associated destruction of cocoa production which Ghana is noted for globally , so Ghana is sitting on time bomb.

It is heartwarming to note that in attempt to halt the massive destruction of the environment you met some of the Chiefs of the affected areas as well as some of your relevant appointees on Wednesday 05 October 2022 for their support but to solve this particular crisis of the massive destruction of the natural environment by irresponsible mining activities.

But Mr President the buck stops with the President, Head of State, Head of State Government and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Force of Ghana to save this Country from these two very serious crisis. So you need to demo very good leadership and the citizen must consider Ghana First, thus need to support you with recommendations for fixing the Country or the way forward. Hence this submission.

Sir before I expound on my submission, let me motivate you with the assertion that. It is God who chooses a leader for His people, hence a Leader is ordained by God for a purpose, So Nana Addo who some of us declared sometimes ago that he can never be the President of Ghana was ordained by God in 2016 and 2020, as our President for a purpose. This is confirmed by the declaration in one of the Holy Books of God, precisely the Holy Bible at Roman 13 which states, ‘’Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God, Consequently, whoever resists authority is opposing what God has set in place, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves”

So, by extension, Mr Nana Addo Danquah of Ghana was the nominated person by God in 2016 and 2020, amongst the millions of Ghanaians to be His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah, the President of Ghana, hence the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ghana, therefore the Supreme battle Commander for a good purpose so you need to rise to the occasion.

The citizen too need to note that Daniels 2.21 in the Holy Bible, declares ‘He changes the times and seasons; ‘He removes kings and establishes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning’. Hence the failure of the democratic government of His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah, the President of Ghana (with his policy of One District One Factory, One Constituency One Ambulance, One Village in the North One Dam, free SHS at our time, Agenda 111 hospitals, year of roads, international Railway system through the North to Burkina Faso), by extension means the failure of the people as well, Hence all on deck with submission to your leadership is required and this will depend on your leadership.

Proselytization (Shakeup in your administration, rapid, efficient and effective communication of national issues to the citizenry to act accordingly or for their consumption or attention or for open discourses, since talking like prayer may at least help to remove or off-load the baggage carried on the heads of some of the citizenry). Furthermore promotion of Agricultural ventures coupled with the sensitization of the citizenry and support for one another to undertake Agricultural and other productive ventures, consensus building through stakeholder’s engagements, responsive, accountable and participatory governance and finally no signs of extravagant life style by political office holders,

Mr President, you cannot get solution to a problem (a crisis) without a study of the contributing factors (the history and characteristics) or the diagnosis of the problem and apply the first principle of war that is ‘The Selection and Maintenance of Aim’ to fight the enemy. The principle of Selection and Maintenance Aim’ is also the principle of business success. So it is important to give the history or the circumstances that led to the two crisis namely the economy downturn and secondly the irresponsible mining or the menace associated with Small Scale Mining Sector which are threat to national security with the view to submitting the way forward. Let me start with the irresponsible mining activities which has domino effect and can therefore aggravate the economy downturn.

The destruction of the natural environment due to irresponsible mining

Mr President our problem is Small Scale Mining which connotes both irresponsible mining which is against the environment and illegal mining due to offending laws of the Country. So Small Scale Mining must be contained legally (through Community Mining for some time and navigating the operators to new trade, militarily (through use of swift and brutal force or State power) and Socio-Eco-Politically through Alternative Livelihood Projects. This is because the operators are doing so for survival (poverty alleviation) and not for wealth creation.

So Chairman Wontumi and other tycoons must not be allowed to operate Small Scale Mining activities. Since they are interested in wealth creation. They must operate in the Medium Scale Mining Sector with similar condition for Large Scale Mining. Mining is capital intensive and most of the licensed Small Scale Miners had their monies through the use of Chinese and the Chinese capital (excavators and other equipment are not for the Ghanaians, the only contribution of the Ghanaian is the Mining Right or Lease. There are abundant authoritative documentary evidence supporting my claims. The Mineral Minerals Commission must come out clean to tell the public under what mining classification is Akonta Mining Company belonging to Chairman Wontumi is operating within, if not Small Scale Mining as reported in Peace FM news at 12noon on 06 October 2022.

Sir, you need to understand issues in the mining sector. Firstly, mining is an economy venture or business hence, it must have three sectors namely Large Scale Sector for large scale operation by Large Scale Mining Companies, then the Middle or Medium Scale Sector for Junior mid-Scale Mining Companies and lastly Small Scale Mining activities which must be seen as a universal set for all other mining operation neither registered as Large Scale Mining Company nor Medium Scale Mining Company. Hence, common sense will tell us that artisanal mining or Galamsey is synonymous with Small Scale Mining because it is the same or within the Small Scale Mining Universal Set. Please contact any authority in economy or economist and a very competent authority in mining like Dr Tony Aubyn, a former CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines for authentication of this assertion. I will confirm this logically with the Minerals and Mining Laws of Ghana. So follow the below logic.

Sir, you need to understand the definition or meaning of Small Scale Mining. So, please Google for the meaning of Small Scale Mining and you will learn that Small Scale Mining connotes irresponsible/informal mining by over millions of people using rudimentary tools and low investment and started their operation before the Colonial era thus over 500 years with no massive destruction of the environment. You may read this in the 2021 Auditor General Report on Small Scale Mining or play the recent video of the Ashantehene and the USA Ambassador at Manhyia palace. He spoke wisely that it was done in the past with simple tools were they not work with excavators nor work with huge funding and they mined for livelihood hence minimum destruction of the environment or many years of operation.

Sir, with the above info, you will deduce that Small Scale Mining was/is informal and the operators regard their operation as God given right to escape from the misery of poverty, hence, Small Scale Mining is normally with illegal undertone.

Sir, we need to be very honest, bold and say it as it is and stop our stupidity with cacophonous jargons. Any reasonable person with knowledge in economy will understand that Galamsey is Small Scale Mining which is informal activity and a national disaster area, because it is characterized by irresponsible mining with no care to both Safety and environmental matters. So, recognized as such, Nations like Tanzania etc work very hard to contain it by combating the Small Scale Mining operators with multiple measures, militarily, Socio-Eco-Politically including Community Mining if and if it is in the interest of the public therefore not for the interest of any individual or a greedy person. So in Tanzania Large Scale Mining Companies like Barrack Gold Mining Company were encouraged by the late President John Magufuli to support Small Scale Miners by organizing into cooperatives contain their operations give them business training for them to change from the national disaster area to safer jobs or Alternative Livelihood Projects.

Sir, Google for Minerals and Mining Law 1986 (PNDCL153) and go to Section 77 for the parent law for Small Scale Mining law and you will appreciate that the PNDC actually formalized or legalized Galamsey or Small Scale Mining. This Small Scale Mining law made it clear, that an area will be designated for Small Scale Mining if and only if it is in the public interest to do so and no use of excavators and no use of substantial money, no use of explosive, all these are in the law.

By the wording of the law that an area will be designated for Small Scale Mining if and only if it is in the public interest imply that it is contingent on the interest of the affected Community led by Chief and his elders and opinion leaders so they are/ were the approval authority (power to the people) and if approved by the Community led by the Chief, the next approval level was the District Mining Committee headed by the District Chief Executive Officer which will approve the publication of a notice of an intend to do Small Scale Mining in the affected area with a copy pasted at all notice boards including the Chief palace for 21 days for any objection by the public. If no objection it is then submitted to the Sector Minister through Minerals Commission for final approval and publication in the gazette. Now let us see what the current law say about Small Scale Mining.

Mr President the current law on Small Scale Mining though ambiguous takes its root from PNDCL153 of 1986 also legalized Galamsey which is just an operation in small scale level almost say as the same parent law. So, the current law at Section 89 of Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act 703) is very clear in the English language to even to a JSS pupil that ‘Where the Minister, after consultation with the Minerals Commission considers that it is in the public interest to encourage small scale mining in an area, he will do so with a size not more than 4acres for one person and not more than 25 acres for cooperative, the Minister may by notice in the Gazette, designate that area for small scale’’ and Section 85 of the Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act 703) (l) say that ‘’A licence granted under section 82 (1) to a person, a group of persons, a co-operative society or a company shall be for a period of not more than five years from the date of issue in the first instance and may be renewed on expiry for a further period that the Minister may determine.

Mr President, I am sorry but I have to say as it is, so you need to understand that Illegal mining, means a lot. These include mining with no mining right or lease or disregard to the mining laws of Ghana, not operating with licence from the Minister and not working with operational permit granted by EPA after payment of appropriate amount or bond into an escrow account for restoration of the land or mining right or concession not subject to the ratification by Parliament, or use of Chinese or foreigners in Small Scale Mining, use of person below 18 years and other infractions. The 2021 Auditor General Report on operation of licensed Small Scale Mining Companies revealed that the licensed Small Scale Mining Companies operated illegally mining since 1999 to date because they never paid a pesewas into a designated escrow account for the restoration of the land they have mined out because they breached (violated) the Environmental Assessment Regulations, 1999 (Li 1652), from EPA so they operated illegally. So the problem of public concern is the irresponsible mining aspect by Small Scale Mining Companies as well.

Hmm Mr President the war against irresponsible mining will not end because the sector Minister through the Minerals Commission has acted and has been acting reckless by granting licence to some Mining Companies including Chinese Mining Companies to buy waste material or spent ore or what we termed in mining parlance as Tailings from the sites of Small Scale Mining activities thus motivating Small Scale Mining or Galamsey operation because the value or magnitude of the two terms is the same in the teaching of economy. Thus by law their operation is legal but by environmentalist it is irresponsible mining because it is hurting the environment which is the crisis of public concern that could lead to civil uprising stated.

So Mr President, the crisis of public concern is both irresponsible mining and illegal mining or only irresponsible mining which defines Small Scale Mining activities which are affecting our natural environment (the lands, natural resource our Cocoa production and may cause marketing problem due to the pollution of the environment (the air/water bodies etc) which is affecting the quality of the Cocoa and food crops especially oranges etc.

So Mr President, declare a ban on Small Scale Mining activities by revoking licenses and give three weeks for Scale Mining Companies or Miners to evacuate personnel and Assets from the field then declare a State of emergency at the affected areas and give the Chief of Defence Staff one month to remove all Small Scale Mining activities and at same time employ the youth who were working at the Small Scale Mining Sites in other trades including the restoration of the disturbed lands, sale of scraps left behind on Small Scale Mining Sites.

Then create Medium Mining Sector for the licensed Small Scale Mining Companies like Akonta Mining Company to operate with Mining lease with measures same as for the Large Scale Mining Companies.

Economy Downturn

Mr President it is true that the current suffering or the Economy Downturn is the causal effect of a buildup of economy mismanagement occasioned by incompetency/thievery/corruption since 1982, aggravated by both the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia War. As stated in the prelims, History repeats itself, Hence it is not news that Ghana is working with the IMF or the 18th time for a bailout. It will be appropriate to give accounts of some of the situations which contributed to our current situation. The economy of Ghana was/is badly management since 1982. The seed of Pull Him Down (PHD) was sown in the era of the PNDC due to among others including/the activities of the People Defence Committees/Workers Defence Committees, Citizen Vetting Committee and the associated risks of closure of some businesses/confiscation of assets by Confiscated Assets Committee, mantra of one man, one house, and one house one toilet.

Furthermore, the long duration of the curfew instituted by the PNDC which was coupled with other actions caused the death of night life, night markets, socialization, restaurants or eateries, Entertainment business or night life business activities (Cinema Houses became Churches etc) Discos, Dance Bands, Play and Drama activities were destroyed especially in the cities example UAC, UTC, Tiptoe Gardens, Keteke etc in Accra.

There were also sale of some state assets including potential profitable industries, cinema houses at ridiculous prices to cronies. All these killed entrepreneurship, thus the beginning of the decline in lot of businesses hence the decline of all the three sectors of the economy namely the Agricultural Sector, the Industrial Sector and the Service Sector with the ,last two badly hit.

The energy sector between 1982 and today has also been badly managed. Rivers which had the potential for mini-hydroelectric power generation were not protected by the State especially VRA from activities of irresponsible mining for gold and sand winning or not utilized as such but the State which rather went for the acquisition of Thermal Plants which burn on costly distillate (fossil fuel) thus increase cost of power with low cost recovery by VRA, ECG and Northern Electricity Department.

Thanks to discovery of petroleum resulting in cheap gas from the Gas Plant to reduce cost of power. Also some of the Thermal Plants were poorly located resulting in huge cost in power pylons and transmission cables on long range which also resulted in transmission losses. The plan to relocate the Ameri Thermal Plant to Kumasi which will be the second time for a relocation action of this Plant by your Administration speaks volume of the seemingly bad management in the Energy sector.

We also had the loss of the Osagyefo power Barge due to gross mismanaged. It was bought at USA$250Million and never produced power, no effective security cover by the State for such a key or vital installation or Infrastructure gave lucrative room for the Osagyefo power Barge loss to illegal scrap dealers through banditry activities hence no cent was recouped. Cash, Stores and Procurement irregularities with impunity became the norm in all Administrations since 1982.

Then we have an allegation of extra power agreement on take or pay basis which it was alleged about US$1Billion was/is spent on extra capacity charges due to the take or pay agreement. Another issue include no correct or adequate meters provided for some areas when power was connected to the Community. Prestea for example enjoyed free power until 2015 when meters were installed in Prestea by VRA. Currently, CSOs and the Minority Party are accusing your Administration on the GNPC –GENSER Deal (Service provider for Large Mining Companies reserve power supply) which may result to an alleged loss of huge amount of US$1.5Billion. Not talking about possible acts of corruptions and other form of cash irregularities especially wrong purchases (procurement) of meters etc

The recent impasse between ECG and the people at Somanya also speaks volume on the poor management of the energy or power sector. Can you imagine the new or Ultra-modern Kejetia Market in Kumasi with various businesses including numerous shops, as at date has only one meter making it difficult for allocation of very fair share of the power bill to Shop owners etc. Likely huge power bill in the books of ECG. Madness on our part has made Ghana Water Company to take power supply from ECG at retail price instead at Wholesale price from VRA, BUI Dam or GRIDCo. This is not a good idea due to the back charging of the high retail price to the public etc thus increasing a burden to or a debilitating effect of finances of the citizenry. Akosumbo Dam was built to supply power by VRA to Industries, Giant Commercial Houses. So, Mr President you need to ensure that Ghana Water Company does not take retail power from ECG but wholesale power from VRA, BUI Dam or GRIDCo as recommended in the 2021 Auditor General Report.

An unrelated issue is the management problem at Kejetia which was or is actually a Bus or Vehicle Terminal in Kumasi Central with some shops, this unfortunately has no adequate commercial and private car or waiting areas or packing areas like the previous or old Kejetia Terminal. Another area of concern is the non-payment for power used by most government institutions and with no good occupancy policy to check or reduce the abuse or misuse of power by occupants, example some people in some security barracks and other areas are using free power to run their business including cold stores which consumed too much power.

Some Senior Staffs have more than 8 air conditioners at their homes including toilets and these are sometimes on at the same time. Mr President, the way forward is employment of competent persons, Stakeholders engagement, transparency through proclamation, adherence to Articles 176 and 177 of the 1992 Constitution, then the Financial Management Act and the Petroleum Management Act.

In the Agricultural Sector, either poor or inadequate investment were made in the production sector especially the Agricultural Sector which is the engine for economic growth or not making good use of investments made in the past in the Agricultural Sector. Example the over US$20Million Aveyime Rice Project and other irrigation projects. The Aveyime Rice Project (irrigation, rice farming activities and rice milling) , which a huge amount of US$20Million was spent to construct it in 1997, had the capacity of 1,700 tons per month of milled rice with full at 800,000 tons but was not used economically after it was commission. It is very shocking that Irrigation projects until 2015 or so did not have a very good water usage policy, The poor handing over and taking over between Administration, discontinuity of some projects example the Affordable Housing Projects, the Saglemi Housing project etc which may result to increase in cost the loss of funding including donor support , the until recently Cocoa process factory at Takoradi, the collapsed railway system, over 100 Pajeros vehicles left to rot, the alleged 50 unfit Ambulances Vehicles.

Unlike the 1979 Constitution which put ceiling of not more than 30 Ministers of State and not more than 30 Deputy Ministers, the 1992 Constitution did not give limitation to the number of Ministers, so past Presidents including yourself failed to protect the national purse when they and you appointed more than 30 Ministers and more than 30 Deputy Ministers. Hence you need to reduce the number of your Ministers to say 40 and other appointees. The 1992 Constitution to be amended to include the limitation to the number of Ministers to 40. Aside your Deputy namely VP Dr Bawumia who has made very good contribution to your Administration we cannot tell any good contribution by previous Vice Presidents of Ghana. Infact evidential material showed that aside ex-VP Mills the rest were sidelined, hence let us abolish the post of the Vice President and let the President nominate a cabinet Minister to sit for him as and when needed.

Poor management of the Road toll booths for which are supposed to generate revenue for repair of roads, the defunct or underutilized Neoplan Bus Assembly Plants in Accra and Kumasi .The spate of our corrupt acts and poor maintenance culture in our DNA. I made a submission early this year on the intended Komenda Sugar Production Series, that has three standalone projects namely the Sugar cane plantation, Sugar cane Crashing/ Raw Sugar Production Mill and, the Sugar Refinery, so it was not economically sound for citing such a big Sugar Refinery at Komenda, Komenda actually needed a small Sugar cane Crashing/Raw Sugar Production Mill say 800 tons/per day due to no adequate land to provide Sugar cane feed from 45km radius to maintain quality sugar. I recommended getting a strategy investor for it and initial procurement of raw sugar to keep the Sugar Refinery and good sugar policy to ensure good market price for both parties. Thanks for handing over the Komenda Sugar factory to a strategy investor. But he good sugar policy to ensure good market price for both parties.

The way forward to improve the economy or to reverse the crisis of economy downturn

Adherence to Transparency, Accountability, Probity/responsiveness and participatory governance coupled with an urgent need for rapid and sound economic decisions for the rebooting of the economy through the transformation and modernization of the Agricultural Sector is the answer. Since these will have cascading effect on the rapid growth of the other two sectors of the economy, namely the Industrial Sector and Service Sector. Agriculture plays a principle role to the growth of the economy because it provides employment opportunities for the teaming population, provides domestic and export revenue earnings and reduces poverty in the economy.

Though Agricultural Sector is regarded as the engine for economy growth and the most important driving force for successful industrialization, the Agricultural Sector in Ghana is lacking behind the Service Sector and this has made the Industrial sector with ago-industries potential to be lacking behind the Agricultural Sector. The stagnation in the agricultural sector is therefore the principal explanation for the Country’s poor economic performance hence an increase in investment in the Agric Sector besides generating more employment, more local and foreign revenue earnings through import substitution, will have a cascading effect on both the Industrial sector and the Service Sector and not the reverse. Also in Ghana an increase in the Industrial sector will cause an increase in the Service Sector and not the reverse. Hence the 1D1F concept is good one.

Hence to reboot the Economy and to attain effective and sustain macroeconomic stability, there is the urgent need to pay much attention to the Agricultural Sector through selection of food crops, exotics plants like Banana and cash crops which Ghana has comparative advantage and carry out the transformation and modernization of the Agricultural Sector by mixture of both mechanized and small holders farming, use of improve seeds, improvement of agricultural infrastructure (irrigations, roads, warehouse, greenhouses), provision of Agricultural services like ploughing or harvesting, threshing, drying, milling, bagging, storage or warehousing, etc) and servicing and maintenance of equipment. I wish to spend the next pages to expatiate on the Agric Sector and the Mining sub-Sector of the Industrial sector of the Economy.

Mr President Import substitution to save foreign currency or improvement of the foreign exchange rate is a must do, by my estimation Ghana needs at least 1.4 Million metric tonnes of milled rice yearly for the current population or national consumption to halt the importation of rice. Mr President Ghana has considerable potential in agriculture especially rice production in all the Regions particularly in the Afram Plains, Accra plains, the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone (NSEZ) and the Volta Region. In these named Regions that your Administration (Government) recently revamped irrigation schemes namely the Tono, Vea, Kpong Right Bank Irrigation Project (KRBIP) and the Kpong Left Bank Irrigation Project (KLBIP). We also have Nasia enclave under both irrigation and rainfed condition and Bontanga Irrigation Project in the North East Region and Northern Region respectively.

Furthermore, Rice is grown under rainfed condition in the Eastern, Central Region and Ashanti Region as well. Thus Ghana has very opportunities for massive rice production to attain the minimum of 1.5metric tonnes of milled rice at current population. We also have several excellent institutions providing research in the Agric sector and competent personnel in the Agricultural sector. Hence, Ghana is battle ready to change the narrative. But, our problem is bureaucracy too much expenditure spent on conferences, problem of acts of corruptions and poor investments. Hence, attitudinal change will be the game changer for success. So need for the instillment of the sense of Patriotism, Honesty and Discipline (PHD) in the Citizenry.

Massive production of rice will provide numerous jobs for the youth. Since, a typical rice supply chain is made of a complex network of public and private entities that links the rice producers (the farmers), rice harvesters, transporters, rice millers, rice collectors and ancillary traders in cooked food etc, rice wholesalers/traders/retailers and food processors and lastly the final consumers. Other stakeholders include transporters, companies that provide security and cleaning services, companies that supply seeds, agrochemicals and agricultural equipment, irrigation assets and construction companies, inspection agencies, government departments of commerce, departments of tax, and other state agencies involving in matters related to rice production. Hence, this demo the cascading effect of Agricultural sector to the Service and Industrial Sectors of the Economy.

Thus, for Ghana to improve in her economic fundamentals, an improvement in public expenditure allocation say 10% of the national budget to the Agricultural sector is urgent to enable a reasonable public investments in Research and Development, for the transformation and modernization of the Agric Sector including by Mechanization (provision of tractors, power tillers, transplanters, combined harvesters, rice millers etc), provision of Agric infrastructure (additional and maintenance of irrigation schemes, roads, silos or warehouses, greenhouses, poultry houses, fish ponds etc) and other areas/actions like quality seeds, the improvement in the quality for branding or marketing, improvement in management and budget coordination in agriculture, improvement on the collection and analysis of agricultural data to produce excellence and authentic data for planning as well as proper use and servicing of equipment, necessary to boost and sustain Ghana’s agricultural growth.

So, Mr President, once again, the Agricultural sector needs both massive investment and coherent import substitution policy (restriction of imports) and rapid upscaling of the production of rice as well as maize, poultry production in order to reverse the huge expenditure of US Dollars in the importation of Rice, Poultry and maize. Hence, as stated, there is the need for increasing the efficiency and quality of public spending in agriculture as well as the need for improving the regulatory framework, good marketing strategy, provision of incentives including credit facilities to attract more private investment into the sector. For rice production, you may consider granting credit facilities to the farmers through the Rice Millers, so that Rice Millers enter into off taker agreements with the farmers to ensure credit facilities (funding and inputs or services are available to the farmers and ready and good market for the rice).

So, Mr President, thanks for your addition or initiation of the Kpong left Bank irrigation project (KLBIP) to enable farmers in the North Tongu in the Volta Region to continue to be engaged in commercial rice farming activities including the cultivation of high value crops. Unfortunately, the Torgorme Traditional Council or is it an Authority in the North Tongu area organized a press conference on 20 September 2022 and claimed that about 1,500 farmers have been denied their farming activities hence their livelihood. So, they pressed a demand for 1,500 acres for the affected small holder farmers, their demand is reasonable or justifiable. Hence, you need to get both Ghana Commercial Agricultural Project and Ghana Irrigation Development Authority to allocate reasonable size of irrigable land to them and provide them with the necessary support to increase their input.

Rice Millers at the Fumbesi valley, Tono, and Vea in the Upper East need to be supported with funding to ensure to enter into off taker agreement with the Rice farmers, so that the Rice Milling Companies provide capital or funding to the Rice farmers so that the rice produce is sold to the Rice Millers in order to remove the headache of marketing at the farmers level them for them to concentrate on production.

Also Rice Millers in the Northern Region and within Northern Region especially the Nasia farming enclave, where a potential 1D1F firm namely Tamanaa Company Limited (TCL) an integrated agribusiness involved in rice farming, milling, processing and marketing with the mission of provision of an integrated agribusiness services within the rice value chain to support rural populations, especially women, to increase their levels of income sustainably is urgently waiting for the needed support (funding etc) from the Secretariat of 1D1F . So, the Chief of Staff or the responsible persons to act with alacrity in the release of the needed support for TCL to achieve her vision and be proud member of the 1D1F group or program.

There is the urgent need to revamp the Aveyime Rice Project (irrigation, rice farming activities and rice milling) , which a huge amount of US$20Million was spent to construct it in 1997, had the capacity of 1,700 tons per month of milled rice with full at 800,000 tons but was not used economically after it was commission. Thus due to the mismanagement. So, on 16th May 2007, the Project was devalued to US$8Million and the Government of Ghana signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with an American based Investor, Prairie Texas Incorporated (PTI) to provide a framework for investment. According to the investment agreement, PTI owned an initial 70 percent shares valued at 2.5 million Dollars (US$2.5,000,000), while the government of Ghana through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture MoFA, owned 30 percent shares also valued at One million dollars ($1,000,000) which was donated through the assets of the defunct Quality Grains project.

The company was reported to own not less than 1,250 hectares of land in the Central Tongu District in the Volta Region, of which 750 hectares was cleared and 710 fully irrigated. PVL also held lease rights from the government and the local community to a further 6,000 hectares.

It is envisaged that, it may cost about US$12 Million for the State to put the project into active operations. From our history, it is better you please make it a PPP project when you happen to revamp it. Otherwise make it BOT project and for it to self-finance itself till it attains a total full development of the 6,000.00 hectares. Rearing of cattle, piggery and poultry could also be done side by side with the rice production to make good use of the bye products from rice like rice hay and rice bran in the feeding matrices.

Furthermore Sir, Ghana can exit from the intended IMF bailout within one year if you take a serious look in the industrial Mining Sector especially in the Salt Mining Sector in addition to the Agric Sector because it is reported that beside use of salt for domestic usage (Restaurant or the eateries etc), Salt is required for the industrial sector especially in the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries. So, Ghana stands to gain a lot within a very short time if mining of salt is done by the modern way to ensure large quantities of salt with the required quality is available for domestic usage and export . Hence, the operations of ElectroChem Ghana Ltd under the McDan Group owned by Dr Daniel McKorley should be Ghana’s game changer for the success to attain and sustain macro-economic stability.

So Mr President, ElectroChem Ltd under the McDan Group Companies owned by Dr Daniel McKorley should be supported by the Coastal Development Authority or the appropriate Regional Development Authority to navigate the illegal miners of salt to Alternative Livelihood Projects, like commercial rabbit rearing, farming etc. This could be done in conjunction with ElectroChem or McDan Foundation

Major Mohammed Bogobiri (rtd)