President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has hinted plans by the government to ban the export of manganese from the country.
According to the President, the government intends to follow the ban with a more comprehensive ban on all raw materials from the country in due course.
The move, he said, was aimed at encouraging the processing of the country’s raw materials locally.
“We have to go down the path of processing our raw materials. I believe a law has now been passed which is going to prohibit, within the next five years, the export of raw bauxite from Ghana.
“I want to add manganese as well and, in due course, it may be that we will have a law that will prohibit the export of all our raw materials so that we have the processing and the value-adding here in Ghana”
“That is the way that we can build our industrial capacity and the economic strength of our country and we are beginning with bauxite and manganese and we will, in due course, encompass the other raw materials as well,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo announced this when he met the traditional leaders from the Western and Western North Regions at the Jubilee House in Accra yesterday.
The chiefs presented a number of petitions to the President, including poor roads, infrastructural deficits and the arrears in the payment of royalties in the extractive areas in the two regions.
President Akufo-Addo expressed the government’s commitment to “right the wrongs” of the past and ensure that the development of the two regions was proportionate with their contribution to the nation.
He said the infrastructure in the Western and Western North regions did not, in any way, match the contribution from the two regions to the national economy.
The President told the chiefs that although it would take some time, he would work to ensure that the regions got what they deserved in terms of development.
He appealed to them to assist the government in explaining to the people in the regions that the efforts of developing the region would take some time but the government’s commitment was unwavering.
On the payment of arrears, the President said the issue of unpaid royalties was unknown to him and expressed the government’s commitment to settle them.
“I have spent quite a lot of my energies paying for arrears of the government I came to succeed in so many areas…in energy, education, cocoa, but I was made to understand that the arrears (on royalties) had been settled”
“I will alert the treasury about it that you are up to date with the current arrangement and we will see how quickly, we can move to settle it,” he said.
The President of the Western Regional House of Chiefs, Ogyeahohoo Yaw Gyebi II urged the government to accelerate the socio-economic development of the two regions.
He presented a litany of petitions to the government, ranging from the infrastructural deficits in the two regions to the challenges faced by local cocoa processing companies and appealed to the President to help address their petitions.
BY YAW KYEI