Mine Workers Want PSI On Infrastructure
The Ghana Mineworkers Union (GMWU) is asking for a Presidential Special Initiative (PSI) to comprehensively accelerate the development of mining communities across the country.
GMWU made the call in its pre-May Day message to mineworkers nationwide.
The statement signed by GMWU's General Secretary, Prince William Ankrah, says, “under the PSI, the government can as a matter of urgency make a special arrangement to encourage Public Private Partnership (PPP) to address the infrastructure challenges in the mining towns.”
It added that through the initiative, “advanced payment of royalties can be negotiated with mining companies with good balance sheet towards this initiative. Also the mining development fund can be tailored in that direction.”
President Akufo-Addo while speaking at the 2018 West Africa Mining and Power Conference held in Accra, expressed frustration at the infrastructure challenge in Ghana's mining towns.
GMWU says it was about time that road networks in mining communities were rehabilitated or constructed.
The Union has also called for the provision of other social amenities such as schools, hospitals, and portable drinking water.
It says “adopting a Presidential Special Initiative, coupled with the needed political will and the right leadership, Ghanaians can be assured of an unprecedented infrastructure development and many positive changes in the mining townships.”
According to the statement, “another critical issue the GMWU would like government to consider in any integrated plan for accelerating socio-economic progress in the mining areas is the establishment of buffer enterprises, to offer alternative employment opportunities to sustain the local economies.”
The statement claimed that “It is no secret that had it not been educational institutions, some mining communities can pass for ghost towns.”
“Akwatia which was once an active mining town was a cash cow for the country, and not what it is today. One can imagine had it not been an educational institution like St. Roses SHS in the town what the situation would have been.”
“As a people-centred union, we the leadership and the entire membership of the Ghana Mineworkers Union, GMWU, have over the years raised concerns about the poor infrastructure in our mining towns.”
“After more than a century of mining in this country, we cannot continue to inflict this injustice on our mineral rich communities which are major sources of foreign exchange earnings for the country.”