Accra, Aug. 16, GNA - Scrap dealers and exporters were on Tuesday tasked to merge with potential investors for the establishment of a processing plant in Ghana to serve the West Africa Sub-Region. Mr Kofi Osei-Ameyaw, a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, threw the challenge at the inaugural ceremony of the Scrapmetal Exporters and Dealers Association (SEDA) in Accra.
The Association, formed a year ago has a membership of 10, comprising dealers and exporters of scrap metals.
Mr Osei-Ameyaw noted that most countries in the Sub-Region did not have any processing plant of non-ferrous metals collected but were only exporting them to advanced countries.
He said the export of non-ferrous scrap had increased to five million dollars between 2000 and 2004 and had created employment for more than 12,000 people.
"We can tremendously increase these figures if we invest in the processing of non-ferrous scrap metals," he added.
The Deputy Minister said the Government was working tirelessly to establish an integrated bauxite project adding, non-ferrous metals such as aluminium, which played significant roles in socio- economic development, would also get the requisite technology in order to manufacture products that could replace iron and steel.
In addition, Mr Osei-Ameyaw said Ghana was in the process of attracting investors to undertake the mining and processing of iron ore deposit to manufacture steel.
"Ghana presently relies on other sources of raw materials such as iron and steel scraps to manufacture parts and components of machinery and equipment for industries and other manufacturers, he added. Alhaji Malik Alhassan, Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who inaugurated the Association, said the Government's policy of Golden Age of Business was to provide the right atmosphere for business to grow and earn legitimate money.
He said the Government would not victimise people, who transacted legitimate businesses, and tasked them to offer suggestions to Government to enhance economic growth.
The Second Deputy Speaker urged them not to underestimate their work because their inability to collect waste could cost nuisance to waste management in the country.
Mr Kwesi Osei Wusu, Vice President of SEDA, recalled that Pan African Metals Company collected and exported scrap metals in the late 1950s. He said the industry had grown significantly and contributed to the economy by earning foreign exchange and offering employment to truck pushers, who went round to collect scrap for sale.
Mr Evans Klutse, a Chief Collector, Free Zones, Customs, Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), reminded the members to take advantage of the tax incentives in exporting scrap metals.
He urged the Association to establish a processing plant to erase the notion that developing countries only exported raw materials. 16 Aug. 05