The Institution of Engineers and Technology (IET) Ghana has called on the government to, as a matter of urgency, repeal the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) Law 285 on salt production, to pave the way for more people to invest in the salt industry.
The association said the law barred investors from investing in the Songhor Lagoon Basin at Ada in the Greater Accra Region.
It said the situation was detrimental to the growth of the salt industry in Ghana.
The President of IET Ghana, Rev. Eric Ankrah, made the call at the general meeting and investiture of an 18-member council, as well as 180 professional members in Accra at the weekend.
The event was on the theme: “Engineering and Technology, backbone for economic development.
Referring to a report by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) Technology Programme on salt production, Rev. Ankrah stated that salt was one of five chemicals that had a lot of uses, and any country that produced it would generate a lot of income.
He mentioned, for instance, that the chlor-alkalis (which consists of chlorine, caustic soda and soda ash) industry consumed a lot of salt, adding that such chemicals were used to manufacture plastic products, and for water and sewage treatment, laundry and textile bleaching, soaps and detergents, among others.
He added that salt was used in the leather industry for tanning, and deicing roads and highways in Europe, America and Asia.
Rev. Ankrah said salt was also used by the food industry, noting that it had numerous purposes but Ghana had not taken advantage of those.
Solar salt technology
Rev. Ankrah said the Keta and Songhor Lagoon Basins could use solar salt technology methods to produce quality salt which would meet international standards for the chlor-alkali industry.
According to him, “Production capacity from these two lagoons can appreciate to approximately five million tonnes per annum.”
He indicated that if governments would listen to engineers and technologists, particularly in this regard, Ghana would lend and not borrow.
Help fight galamsey
The Deputy Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Bernice Adiku Heloo, charged engineers and technologists to help fight the “galamsey” menace.
Dr Heloo, who was the Special Guest of Honour, said the practice had gained ascendancy and challenged the association to come up with measures to help resolve it.
A former Rector of the Ho Polytechnic, Dr George Afeti, said the country needed advanced engineering and technological skills in many of its sectors to drive the economy.
He pointed out that the absence of those placed a limitation on the country’s ability to promote value addition for commodities such as cocoa, timber and gold.
Source: Daily Graphic
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