Mr. James Adjei, an official of the Minerals Commission, has called on Ghanaians to invest in the mining industry to enable the country to fully benefit from proceeds from the sector. He expressed worry that the indigenous people have ignored the industry and it has been taken over by foreigners. Mr. Adjei was speaking at a day's workshop, organized by Newmont Akyem Project for media personnel in the Eastern Region, in Koforidua.
He said royalties on minerals between three to sixth per cent paid to Ghana was not enough and explained that if Ghanaians should engage in mining, the country could benefit from 34 per cent of total investment to support the economy. Mr. Adjei said mineral export contributed to over 30 per cent of the country's foreign earnings and called for the revamping of the industry. He advised Ghanaian mining engineers and entrepreneurs to invest in small scale mining and not to relegate the sector to unskilled labour force.
Mr. Adjei said the banks were ready to finance small scale mining but those in the sector could not submit the required documentation to enable them to acquire loans. Ms Ajoa Yeboah-Afari, former President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), urged journalists who report on mining companies, to draw the attention of the public to issues concerning mining and make suggestions that could boost mining. She advised journalists not to be concern only about negative stories about the mining industry but also to report on progress being made in the sector.
Mr. Roland Affail Monney, Vice President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), asked radio stations that broadcast in the local languages to avoid sensationalising their stories. He also advised radio stations to be cautious about putting eye witnesses on air without cross checking their stories and explained that such stories could spark national crisis if not carefully managed. Mr Oduro-Kwateng Marfo of Newmont Mining Company, said when the the Akyem Project takes off, it would employ both skilled and unskilled local labour.
Professor Kwame Gyan of the University of Ghana explained that compensations were not meant to enrich the beneficiaries and urged the media to educate people in the mining communities on the need to be modest in their demands.
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