By Gabriel Ewepu
GHANAIAN government has urged its Nigerian counterpart to consider establishing a national mining company to compete actively with those in the private sector for rapid development of the sector. This was the assertion of the Minister of Lands & Natural Resources, Ghana, John-Peter Amewu, during a stakeholders conference in Abuja. Amewu said Nigeria should begin to look inwards on establishing various linkages that would fast track development of the solid minerals sector in no distant.
He said: “Nigeria should begin to look at the forward linkages and also how Nigeria will own their own resources, and I see nothing wrong with Nigeria coming up with national mining company. Ghana used to have and I am coming back to it. You know countries like China they had to start mining company that competed with the private sector. I see nothing wrong with state companies competing with private sector so before you get there you should start thinking of how you will get you own national mining company and that is the way you know you get yourself involved and see to the day-to-day management of the records.
“It should not be a problem for a country to own a mining company. It is our concept and attitude towards work, if you say Nigeria is not capable of handling a mining company then I don’t see why they should be a country. They should be able to manage and be able to do it. You should be able to take control of your own country so having a mining company or state mining company I think is a way to go for most African countries.”
According to him African countries should work closely in the mining sector and exchange ideas to effectively harness the potential in the sector. He also disclosed that in Ghana solid minerals sector contributes about six per cent of GDP, such that in 2016 almost about 70, 000 pounds of gold was exported out of the country, creating huge employment.
“The mining sector is currently one of the largest in terms of revenue that we generate apart from cocoa production and export, the mining sector contributes significantly to the GDP”, he stated.