Haruna Iddrisu Wants Drastic Action To Deal With Mining Sector Challenges
Minority leader, Haruna Iddrisu has lamented recent events in the mining industry, predicting an imminent disaster.
He said the sector, which used to be the major employer in the country, has lost its competitiveness to other industries because of the challenges.
Speaking in Parliament Tuesday, Mr Iddrisu backed a call for the audit of the mining sector in order to reposition it.
Ghana’s mining sector has been in a sharp decline in recent years, a development experts blame on many factors, including labour issues.
Figures from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) in 2016 revealed the industry accounted for 5.4percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015, down from 8percent in 2014 and 9.4percent in 2013.
Also, foreign direct investment (FDI) in mining reportedly dipped by 17.6percent in 2014, from $1.15billion in 2013 to $950million in 2014.
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Considering the impasse at mining giant, Goldfields Ghana Limited over its retrenchment exercise, Mr Iddrisu said the industry will continue to suffer unless there are deliberate steps to reverse the trend.
“We continue exporting gold, can we process our own gold in order to find value?” he asked his colleagues in the House.
He said the cure to the “depreciating cedi or an epileptic cedi” against major world currencies lies in an expanded export and value addition.
He blamed the slow pace of development in most mining communities on the companies, which he accused of shirking their responsibilities.
“Social amenities in the areas like Obuasi [in the Ashanti Region] where many of our compatriots from Northern Ghana live and work they are not good,” he said.