Lands and Natural Resources Minister-designate, Samuel Abu Jinapor, is hoping to develop a robust salt mining industry to maximise the economic potential of that mineral if approved by Parliament.
This agenda, he said would be overseen by a Salt Development Authority to regulate activities of the sector.
“Salt is a very important resource that we have to tap into.
“Ghana is very strategic because we have enough commercial deposits of salt which I believe we have to exploit. To do this, the full value chain of salts has to be established here.
“We cannot build an integrated aluminum, steel, and petrochemical industry without salt. So salt is extremely important to our extractive industry,” Mr Jinapor, MP, Damango, told the Appointments Committee of Parliament in Accra yesterday.
He said with attempts by President Akufo-Addo in his first term to develop the deposit at Ada in the Greater Accra Region, that effort must be consolidated.
“I think that it has gotten to a point where we probably should consider a salt development authority whose mandate will be responsible for building the full value chain.”
He said it was regrettable that Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country imports salt from Southern American country, Brazil, which is thousands of miles away when its close door neighbour has it in abundance.
“Nigeria consumes a lot of salt yet it imports its salt from Brazil simply because we don’t have a salt terminal in Ghana.
“The distance between Nigeria and Ghana is closer yet it goes all the way to Brazil to import salt.
“I believe when we get this authority in place where we can have a salt refinery here in Ghana, it will help a great deal.”
Mr Jinapor said his instructions from the President are very clear; “that I should go there, keep my head focused and work hard to ensure that we reduce the incidents of illegal mining
“Let me give the assurance that should I get the approval of this House, I am not just talking; I am moving in there to, in all humility and modesty, apply the law without fear or favour.”
Mr Jinapor said the fight against the act which has polluted Ghana’s water bodies, degraded lands and depleted forest reserves has been a difficult one which needed a national consensus to be defeated.
He said the fight against the illegal mining menace over the years has not seen the needed progress because of the fragmented approach with which it is being fought.
“The President is absolutely committed to making an impact in this illegal small scale mining industry,” he stated.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI