The Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy has paid an official visit to Electrochem Ghana Limited in Ada to help address the misunderstanding between some citizens and the company an d verify the progress since inception .
The committee observed the tremendous transformation brought to the salt industry at Ada and commended management for the effort .
Speaking to the media Hon. Atta Akyea, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines and Energy disclosed that, they are amazed with the kind of investment made by Electrochem Ghana Limited into salt production and called for the needed to support from the people of Ada and Government.
He pointed out that, if the country paid serious attention to salt production in Ada, there would be no need to go to IMF for any Bailout since the salt alone can earn Ghana more foreign exchange than that of cocoa.
“If we pay attention to this natural resource which is in the backyard, we shall all benefit,. He indicated there is prospect since the current operations is not even up to 40 percent of the company’s setup capacity with an investment of about $88 million.
He expressed his concern about frequent friction between some people trying to undermine the enterprise with their personal interest.
Hon. Atta Akyea averred that, the actions of those individuals is to sabotage. The conspiracy to commit crimes to press home grievances and bring pressure to bear cannot escape the punishment of the law. “You cannot have that lawlessness undermining undertaking that can bless the entire country”.
He therefore sound a note of caution to those who believes that the whole Ada Traditional Area should not improved. ” This country should not have this kind of Lawlessness people who want to undermine progress”.
He said Electrochem Ghana, free loans to people in the community is an innovation critical for socio economic development and therefore you don’t attempt to derail must not be tolerated.
He revealed that under the Constitution of Ghana, all natural resources are vested in the President on behalf of the good people of Ghana.
On his part, the Ranking Member for Mines and Energy, Hon. John Jinapor emphasized that, Electrochem Ghana is embarking on a good project and has the potential of impacting the country’s GDP and economic activities in the salt industry and that, they are going to report to Parliament and the Speaker what they have witnessed.
He said during an interaction with the company’s workers and management, they told them about their challenges and want the state to support them. “What Parliament does is to ensure that we help boost economic activities. To ensure that business strived and so, we will engage with management, we will engage with stakeholders and ensure that there is peaceful environment. That is very very critical. Without a Peaceful environment the business will not function and so, we will do everything possible to ensure that all the stakeholders are brought to bear and to ensure that they operate within the frame work of the law. He stressed that operating within a Peaceful environment creates business friendly atmosphere for the benefit of all.
According to Hon. John Jinapor, per what he has seen is a clear indication that, the salt industry can be a game changer for Ghana to address the current situation of over concentration on gold.
He advice management of Electrochem Ghana Limited to continue to engage with all stakeholders so that they can expand and create jobs and give Ghana a competitive edge.
The Electrochem salt industry he stated, is going to be one of the best in the whole of Africa if they are giving the needed support and peace .
The company he indicated, have not even done about 30 percent of their production capacity.
Meanwhile, for the sake of community work and harmony, Electrochem Ghana Limited have prepared some area and giving it to the community to mine for themselves likewise, provide ready market where they can equally sell to the company.
It came out that, the people of Ada over 400 years ago were mining salt every 8 years until the time of one investor by name Apenteng revealed the potential of the Industry about 40 years ago the it could be extracted every 4 or 5 months.
Available information indicates that, it was at that point the people started to fight the investor which led to the death of one pregnant woman and Former President Rawlings have to revoke the licence of the investor and since then, it have been in the care of the people of Ada.
For 40 years, it have been moving from one IMC to the other depending on the government in power, making the people to embark on salt galamsey from the bed of the Lagoon.
Until Electrochem Ghana Limited came in, it is said that few individuals hijacked the whole process after the licence was revoke from the investor.
The Traditional Council according to sources, had tried severally to stop the salt galamsey mining as it is destroying the Lagoon because, the water was getting dried by the day and it is turning into desert.
So, Electrochem Ghana Limited therefore, came in to install the $17 million pump and started pumping water from the sea to restore the Lagoon and now, the Lagoon is no more a desert.
However, some few selfish individuals who benefiting out of the galamsey long before Electrochem took over,are determined to create obstacles as a ploy to continue doing galamsey on the bed of the Lagoon.