Prince William Ankrah, General Secretary of Ghana Mineworker’s Union, has called on government to, as a matter of urgency, revive the Prestea Sankofa Gold Mine.
According to him, workers of the only state gold mine have not been paid for the past five months.
Mr. Ankrah, who disclosed this while speaking at the Mineworkers’ Union National Executive Council meeting in Accra recently said, “We are calling on the government to intervene expeditiously to save the mine from total collapse.”
He said the mining sector is now faced with many challenges, stating that “the cost of borrowing continues to disadvantage Ghanaian businesses, particularly those in the mining sector, which often requires huge capital outlay.”
“Indeed, while their foreign counterparts are borrowing between zero percent and five percent to do the same businesses, Ghanaian businesses are borrowing over 30 percent, and that certainly is a very challenging pedestal to begin from,” he added.
Mr. Ankrah said competition in the sector is also lopsided and unhealthy.
This, he said, was due to the dominance of foreign multinational companies in the sector.
He said, “It is imperative to take a closer look at Ghanaian-owned mining businesses and prescribe deliberate affirmative interventions that would not only make Ghanaian mining businesses competitive but also insulate them from the fierce pressure and competition from their foreign counterparts.”
To this end, Mr. Ankrah said a local content law akin to that currently being used in the oil and gas sector would be very helpful for the mining sector.
“Additionally, we must also make access to capital readily available, accessible and cheap for these businesses. We must also institute clear-cut growth pipelines for these Ghanaian-owned mining businesses to enable them perform and transition into large-scale mining conglomerates in the long run,” he added.
Mr. Ankrah called on government to intervene swiftly to save Ghanaian businesses in the sector.
By Cephas Larbi/dailyguideafrica.com