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Fixing The Country Part 23 – Crossing The River Rubicon With All The Citizenry

President Nana Akufo Addo

Dear President,

In one of my previous series on fixing the Country Agenda, I categorically stated that you, the President of Ghana and the Citizenry need to appreciate that the current great economic depression is the causal effects of a combination of a buildup of mismanagement of the funds and resources (economy) of Ghana since 1982, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War which have caused and are causing the untold hardship. So, the era of Ghana before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic cannot and will not be the same as the periods of Ghana, during and after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War.

So, as the Economist do say Centris paribus (all things must be or remain equal when making a comparison), it is therefore logical to say that it is senseless and infantile to make a comparisons of Administrations before the COVID-19 pandemic with Administration during the era of COVID-19 pandemic with the associated restrictions of movement, closure of borders, requirement for special or physical distances, the order for people as much as possible to stay at home, the daily purchase and wearing of face masks etc hence this has designated or defined a new Ghana. This as stated is occasioned by the two global force majeure namely the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War.

So Mr President please do not be disturbed with certain developments, especially our character of Pull Him Down (PHD) syndrome because it is in our DNA. So, as expected of a President, you need to keep on coping with the insults or our uncouth conduct and let me once again remind and motivate you that, It is God Who chooses a leader for his good people by extension Mr Nana Addo Danquah of Ghana was and is the nominated person by God, amongst the millions of Ghanaians to be His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah, the President of Ghana. 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.

Furthermore, Daniels 2.21 of 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 etc), by extension means the failure of the people.

Mr President, as you aware the crisis we are going through is not restricted to Ghana but a global one similar to the great depression which happened 100 years ago, but with different ramifications to each nation. This is not seen or well told to the citizenry for them to appreciate state of affairs, hence, the learning of History in our education system is very important, so it must be re-introduced because it gives us intelligence of state of affairs in the past and how God made his people to sail through the state of affairs and give us the experience that History repeats itself or as risk experts will say once it has happened, it will happen again, this is in consonance with 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. There is nothing new in the whole world, if a Country’s is badly managed from the onset and it will continue to experiences huge debts, high inflation, weak foreign exchange status, high unemployment, all these issues were/are normally occasioned by mismanagement. So the state of macroeconomic instability may keep on repeating in Ghana, hence the seventeenth time Ghana has found herself is expected since it is part of our rituals to opt for IMF support in the life cycle of our governance.

Hmm, Mr President, the situation Ghana has found herself is that of the die is cast, that is no return or turning back, so, we need to move forward, as one people one mission to sail through the difficulties as one Country, as such you as the President or our Political leader, has to demo superb leadership and act like Moses and his compatriot Israelis as stated in the Bible or Julius Cesar and his battle troops, and organize the citizenry for the successful crossing of the river Nile or the River Rubicon respectively. So, you as our Leader, need to let us adopt a positive attitude and also think big and unite behind you our leader, for crossing the River Rubicon. Let me repeat that this can be achieved by you demo strong leadership as well as you and other Political Executives of Ghana show no extravagant life style, in our bid to cross the River Rubicon. There must also be support for one another, consensus building through stakeholder’s engagements, participatory governance and finally rapid, efficient and effective communication of national issues for the public consumption or attention or for open discourses, since the talking at least may help to remove or off-load the baggage carried on the heads of some of the citizenry.

Mr President, your flagship Nobel philosophy of free SHS for all qualified final JHS pupils whether from rich and poor families must be maintained because it is based on God’s requirements of honesty, fairness, and equality, which are in consonance with Article 1 (1) of the 1992 Constitution that the Sovereignty of Ghana resides with the people of Ghana in whose name and for whose welfare the power of Government are to exercise in the manner and within the limits laid down in this Constitution. This is supported by Article 17 (1) and (2) of the 1992 Constitution that ‘’All persons shall be equal before the law’’ and ‘’A person should not be discriminated against on grounds of gender, ethnic, religion, origin, creed, or social or economic status’’ respectively.

To provide the wherewithal for the successful execution of the free SHS and other national policies without discrimination, Article 257 (6) of the 1992 Constitution, stipulates that all the minerals (like precious minerals like gold, industrial minerals like Salt, natural minerals like water) within Ghana are the properties of the State, vested in the President on behalf of and in trust for the people of Ghana. Furthermore, it should be noted that in a VAT system economy, the rich persons herein rich Ghanaians do not dodge payment of VAT in the consumption of goods and services thus they pay more than the poor persons who knowingly or unknowingly dodge the payment of VAT on goods and services since most of them especially the traders do not issue VAT receipts or collect withholding taxes during the operations of their businesses or the poor customers do not collect VAT receipts when the purchase goods and services and the poor are currently finding ways to dodge the E-levy, which is said to be a regressive tax by them.

As you aware that the growth of the Economy is one of the macroeconomic indicators that every country seeks and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is the sum of Ghana Cedis or preferably US Dollar value of all goods and services produced in a year. So, the GDP growth will increase if exports increase, there is an increase in government spending and increase in retail expenditures. Thus GDP growth rate is the most important and valuable indicator of economic health and all things being equal an increase in export will have a great positive change in the health of a Country. Hence Ghana must export more than import or adopt import substitution measures in the Agricultural Sector that is Grow Ghana food items and Ghana’s produced food items policy.
Ghana is at a Cross Road, so there is the urgent need for rapid and sound economic decisions for the rebooting of the economy and for the rapid growth of the various three sectors of the economy, namely the Agricultural Sector, Industrial Sector and Service Sector. The agricultural sector among others involves the production of food crops like rice, maize, millet, yam, cassava, plantain etc and marketing, cash crop like cocoa production and marketing. Also fishing, forestry and logging. The industrial sector among others involves mining, quarry, construction, electricity and water and manufacturing. Lastly ,the Service Sector among others involve transport, storage and communication, wholesale and retail trade, restaurant and hotels, finance, insurance, real estates, and business services, government services, community, social and personal services and producers of private non-profit services.

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 the issues of the ago-industries 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 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 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.

Agricultural Sector
Mr President the current Hon Minister for Agriculture once disclosed that Ghana imported US$151milion of rice in 2007 and the figure rose steadily to US$1.5 billion in 2015, presumably due to rapid population growth and improve in income levels and public taste for imported rice. But report shows that it dropped massively to US$300million (cost of 689,000 metric tonnes) of imported rice in 2016. Paddy Rice production in Ghana increased by 5.19 % from 687,680 tonnes in 2016 to 925,000 tonnes in 2019 and to 973,000 tonnes in 2020.

Also, In 2021, the Minister for Trade and Industry disclosed in Parliament that about GH₵6.874 billion, this was equivalent to US$1.13 billion (the exchange rate by 31 December 2020 was averagely at 1 USD to GH₵6.2) was spent in the importation of rice between 2017 and 2020 meaning about US$371miillion yearly, hence a yearly surge of US$71million from the 2016 figure of US$300million, presumably due to rapid population increases and taste for foreign rice.. He also told Parliament that GH₵3.993 billion was used in importation of fish between 2017 and 2020, GH₵2.65billion spent in importation of processed or frozen Chicken/poultry, GH₵487 million spent on importation of Meat and GH₵281million in importation of Vegetables. This happened during your first term in office. These statistics speaks volume of the situation in Ghana.

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 we have the 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. Luckily, 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. 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 Patriotism, Honesty and Discipline (PHD) in the Citizenry or the fighting troops for the successful crossing of River Rubicon.

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 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 (irrigations, 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, 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, it is recommended that the Agricultural sector should be provided with 10% of budgetary expenditure as agreed in the Maputo accord in 2003 by Heads of Sates of member Countries of the African Union.

Thanks to Allah, our own compatriot in the person of my brother and good friend Hon Mr Abraham Dwuma Odoom in Ghana, who is noted for haven supported Nigeria to make a breakthrough in the maximization of Rice Production, as a major import substitution within a short duration of five or six years. So with him with his magic wand, we can succeed and even surpass the feat of Nigeria because Ghana has better comparative advantage for Rice production than Nigeria but what is lacking is leadership since 1982 and the provision and judicious utilization of adequate budgetary support in a public private partnership ventures coupled with a good Rice Policy (gradual increase in the tax on imported rice to stimulate rice production with maxim of produce Ghana food items and eat Ghana produced food items, local rice only as part of the feeding program for schools in the catchment and other areas, for national programs that may entail feeding to change our taste and thus motivate production.

It is also heartwarming to note that with the support of the World Bank and the United State Agency for International Development (USAID), Ghana has established the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP), a project of the Government of Ghana under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) with the objective to improve agricultural productivity and production of both smallholders and nucleus farms in selected project intervention areas especially in the Accra plains and Savannah areas. And to ensure maximum gains, GCAP was restructured in November 2015 to include the reformation and strengthening of the Ghana Irrigation Development Authority (GIDA) and the Irrigation Company of Upper Region (ICOUR), and these support from the World Bank and USAID made it possible for the rehabilitation and modernization of four major irrigation schemes including Tono and six smaller scale schemes.

Thus, the restructuring of GCAP in 2015 made Ghana to attain success in the Agric sector which made you to gladly announce in the 2021, State of the Nation Address (SONA) in Parliament that government has made significant investment into the Ghana Commercial Agricultural Project (GCAP) that made it possible for the creation of a total of 13,190 hectares of additional irrigable land through the rehabilitation of the Tono/Vea, and Kpong Right Bank Irrigation Schemes for rice and vegetable cultivation and the addition or coming into stream the Kpong Left Bank Irrigation Project (KLBIP) in the North Tongu in the Volta Region for the cultivation of rice, vegetables and exotic crops like Banana.

It was also indicated that the immediate benefits of rehabilitating the aforementioned schemes, include improved rice yields from 4.5 tonnes per hectare to 5.5 tonnes per hectare thus leading to increase in production of rice, vegetables, exotic crops like Banana etc and the growth in farm incomes and additional or maintenance of employment at the affected catchment areas, consequently the nation at large since produces from the Schemes will reach markets nationwide. Hence, your statement that the development of the irrigation has benefitted some 14,264 smallholder beneficiaries directly and created some additional 40,000 jobs along with several value chain activities of the scheme may be understatement (underestimated), I will it at put more than a million, Sir. The Planting for food and Jobs initiative success may be attributed to the rehabilitation and modernizations of these four key irrigation projects, for rice and vegetables production. This therefore calls for the rehabilitation and modernizations of other irrigation projects and the establishment of more irrigation schemes.

So, Mr President, thanks for the 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 no turning back or pull him down syndromes but moving forward with the affected farmers so they must board the Ship under your Captainship for the crossing of the River Rubicon to the Promise Land. 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.

Sir, another group of passengers who must board the Ship to cross the River are the people in the enclave of the both Bontanga Irrigation in the Northern Region and the Nasia irrigation system for rice production and those on rainfed rice production in the North East Region of Ghana within the West Mamprusi Municipal, hence you need to revamp and expand these two schemes if not done as at date to increase the production of rice and vegetables and support them with Rice Mills because I am told that some poor women at these areas especially at the Bontanga irrigation enclave have to carry rice on their heads on long distances to mill the rice. They must be made to join the Ship for crossing the river Rubicon to the promise land.

Within the Nasia farming enclave, is Tamanaa Company Limited (TCL) an integrated agribusiness involved in rice farming, milling, processing and marketing and which established its rice mill in 2015 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.

TCL, reportedly, has applied to subscribe and work under the auspices of the One District One Factory (1D1F) secretariat to enable the Company (TCL) to achieve its vision as among the top 10 rice mills in Ghana sustainably sourcing, processing and marketing local rice for the domestic and regional market. Hence there is the urgent need to for the Presidency to fast track the requisite support for Tamanaa Company Limited which reportedly has formally registered under the One District One Factory (1D1F) program. Sir get 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.

While the country spends so much in the importing rice, one project that alone could help to turn the fortunes of the country is the Aveyime Rice Project if it is made operational. It was initially known as Quality Grain Project. Cry the Beloved Country, a huge amount of US$20Million was spent to construct it in 1997 and it had capacity of 1,700 tons per month of milled rice with full at 800,000 tons but was no use economically after it was commission. Thus due to the mismanagement in our DNA, it was not utilized economically. 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.

In addition to its equity contribution, PTI was further obliged per the agreement to secure from external sources all financing and capital needed for development works and services of the project estimated at Three Million US Dollars (US $ 3,000,000) at the time.

But Prairie Texas Incorporated PTI invested one million dollars ($1,000,000) cash as its initial equity contribution. However, in a bid to raise some more capital for the project, PTI sold 30 percent of its 70 percent shares to Development Finance and Holdings Limited (DFHL), a subsidiary of the Ghana Commercial Bank. According to the foreign investors, this was as a result of several factors which had to do with finance. According to Prairie Volta, Ltd, one of the factors had to do with “government pegging the value of the asset at 8.2 million dollars when it was purchased by Prairie Volta. Meanwhile, the assets were left to rot for ten years without usage.

The US$8Million amount was recorded therefore in Prairie Volta Ltd’s (PVL) balance sheet as a debt, hence a major challenge which prevented the investors from securing any funds elsewhere in the world. One other challenge that worked against Prairie Volta Ltd had to do with land compensation. It was reported that there were times Prairie Volta Ltd went to the farm to work and the chiefs prevented them because they have not been compensated. The third challenge that also worked against Prairie Volta Ltd had to do with the interest rate at the time. The interest rate was so high that it was not feasible to run a rice farm in Ghana with an interest rate of 37%. The fourth challenge had to do with the equipment as the equipment which Prairie Volta Ltd inherited were old and outmoded and most of which had lied idle for long and looked rusty. Hmm Cry My Beloved Country, I hope the Komenda Sugar Factory will not suffer the same disease of the black man One.

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.
Invigorating the Industrial Sector

Mr President, as stated I want to deal with the Mining Sector, the subsector of the Industrial Sector, because it is the area that I have excellent knowledge and experiences on how to reduce the associated risks especially in the Small Scale Mining Sector due to my training and experience in the Military and my mysterious posting to the 2ND Infantry Battalion Takoradi by God’s grace for a purpose (a very interesting story yet to be told, God really work wonders). This made it possible for my participation in the works of both the Regional Security Councils of the Central Region and the Western Region in the era of both the NDC and NPP regimes. Initially, with Hon John Frank Abu, ex-Western Regional Minister who later became the Minister for Mining and Energy etc, the late Madame Hon Lily Nkansah ex-Western Regional Minister and Hon Kojo Yankah, a former Central Regional Minister.

Then in the NPP era were the late Hon Isaac Edumadze, a former Central Regional Minister and Hon Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo (now CEO of COCOBOD). I was also lucky to have a very good working experience with the National Security Secretariat with Brigadier General Dan Mishio (rtd) and Brigadier General Adeti (Rtd) as participants in the work of the National Security Committee responsible for the anti-illegal mining operations during the era of ex-President JDM Mahama. So I was exposed to a lot on security operations against Small Scale Mining sector as well as my knowledge in Economics and Politics (which I define as the way of life so every so get involved in the Politics of Ghana and the World) with related historical perspectives.

Mr President Ghana can exit from the intended IMF bailout within one year if you take a serious look in the Mining Sector in addition to the Agric Sector The Small Scale Mining Sector is basically characterized as informal hence illegal and irresponsible undertone. Small Scale Mining operator are involved in the mining of precious minerals like gold, and industrial minerals like salt, clay, stone winning etc. It is alleged that over U$2Bilion worth of gold is smuggled out of Ghana yearly through the Small Scale Mining Sector.

It is also reported that salt is required for the industrial sector especially in the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries and the Service sectors like Restaurant or the eateries etc. 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 Electrochemical Ghana Ltd under the McDan Group owned by Dr Daniel McKorley should be Ghana’s game changer for the success for to attain and sustain macro-economic stability

Mr President, Article 257 (6) of the 1992 Constitution, stipulates that all the minerals (like precious minerals like gold, industrial minerals like Salt, natural minerals like water) within Ghana are the properties of the State, vested in the President on behalf of and in trust for the people of Ghana. Hence, PNDC Law 287 of 1985 or so which talks of a Master Plan under the auspices of a Committee to allocate concessions to interested persons at Ada Songhor is against the letter and Spirit of Article 257 (6) of the 1992 Constitution and the Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act703,) hence it is unconstitutional, so my good friend Dr Yao Graham of the Third World Network and others need to be educated about the illegality of PNDCL287 which Article 257 (6) of the 1992 Constitution and the Minerals and Mining Law 2006 (Act703) have come to negate and replace as the working law guiding mining Rights.

As stated in my previous submission, Small Scale mining is synonymous with Galamsey, because Small Scale Mining (SSM) like Galamsey is characterized as Mining activity by inexperienced poor folks in affected communities, using only simple tools to operate for livelihood and they are nomadic and irresponsible in their operation for gold. They are millions operators and do their mining activity with disregard to the care of the environment, disposed to disaster, associated with unsafe practices, smuggling or unauthorized transaction of minerals including Gold and Salt belonging to the State, the activity is informal (therefore it has illegal undertone), and nomadic thus difficult to locate and deal with all of them. Thus Small Scale Mining (SSM) Is basically an irresponsible manual mining operations by over millions of the operators, who regard the SSM as God given right for them (the operators of SSM) to escape from their miseries, occasioned by poverty (hence an informal poverty alleviation activity) and not for wealth creation. So need for Alternative Livelihood Projects for them.

So pardon me but I need to say it as it is, that is it was and is madness on the part of Ghana to allow and encourage Business tycoons to do Small Scale Mining, Since, the tycoons who have very good means of livelihood, they should operate almost the same condition for Large Scale Mining and made to be members of the Ghana Chamber of Mines. Because the operators of Small Scale Mining globally are just looking for massa and Koko sika (money)hence livelihood and build Atta Kwami homes and buy bicycles and not for wealth creation to build mansions, build hotels, own Hammer make cars or Toyota land cruisers, marry even wives. We need to know this intelligence so that we will understand that you need to put those Ghanaians who want to gain commanding heights in the Mining Sector in different class as Medium Scale Mining Sector and combat the Small Scale Miners as enemy of the state by militarily, psychologically and socio-eco-politically with Alternative Livelihood Projects so as to halt their activities.

So, since mining is capital intensive, I am against putting the business tycoons with the intention of conducting mining for wealth creation into the Small Scale Mining activity. An activity which millions of operators are reportedly merely working for a livelihood and not necessary for Wealth creation. So, I recommended you create a new class as Medium Scale Mining with conditions like that for Large Scale Mining Companies but only with minimum threshold say not less than GHC500,00.00 for the Ghanaians and not less than US$1Million or US$700,000.00 as minimum contribution by foreigners with the Company registered by the Ghanaian as majority shareholder and no way a Ghanaian partner should be overthrown as the majority owner to contain the state of affairs. And the State to cause the Novation of the licensed Small Scale Mining Companies by registration with the Registrar General so that all the alleged licensed Small Scale Mining Companies to navigate to the proposed Medium Scale Mining Sector.

The operators in the proposed Medium Scale Mining Sector should be allowed to collaborate with foreigners (partnership with a Ghanaian) to operate mining activity for wealth creation. This must also have a very good local content policy, posting of reclamation bond by payment into an escrow account with the right amount as per the size of land for restoration of mined out areas. (c). Restrict Small Scale Mining to the affected Communities only to operate as Cooperative or Community mining, with the operators to be provided with training in business and so that with time the State get the operators to stop Small Scale Mining and navigate them to Alternative Livelihood Projects as done by USAID in Ivory Coast, that is when they happen to get a seed capital to be used to start a new trade.

Hmm Mr President, all along, we have been talking of Small Mining, Galamsey operation also illegal mining only within mining of the precious minerals of gold but the whole nation failed or is failing to appreciate that Galamsey operators or Small Scale Mining activities or illegal mining activities are taking place in the salt mining industry as well. As in the affected areas like Ada Songhor Lagoon etc for their livelihood. So they also like gold miners regard the mining of salt as God given right for them (the operators of SSM) to escape from their miseries, occasioned by poverty (hence an informal poverty alleviation activity) and not for wealth creation. We also have sand and stone winning in the Mining sector, so we need to sit up. Since the buck stops with the President, so you need to rise up to the occasion.

This a dereliction of Constitutional requirement by the Heads of States of Ghana especially in the Fourth Republic because Article 257 (6) of the 1992 Constitution, stipulates that all the minerals (like precious minerals like gold, industrial minerals like Salt, quarry stones, limestone within Ghana are the properties of the State, vested in the President on behalf of and in trust for the people of Ghana, hence the President through the Minerals Commission must equally check and halt Small Scale Mining of salt because their operations are without License from the Minerals Commission and operational permits from EPA, therefore it is also illegal. They affected persons should also be supported to take a different trade in Alternative Livelihood Projects.

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

Best regards.

MAJOR MOHAMMED BOGOBIRI (RTD)
0501387764

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