Lands Minister commissions weigh bridge at Apemanim to ensure accurate valuation of Bauxite and Manganese export

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor (MP) says the construction of the modernized weigh bridge will ensure accurate valuation of minerals exported which will directly result in an increase revenue generation.

The Minister divulged that government took the decision to embark on the construction of the weigh bridges after it came to light that the country was not enjoying maximum revenue from the haulage of manganese and bauxite by the Ghana Manganese Company and Ghana Bauxite Company.

Speaking at the commissioning of the newly-constructed weigh bridge at Apemanim in the Ahanta west district of the Western Region, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor explained that construction of the bridges forms part of government’s short-term plans for the sector which is make the roads motorable for easy transportation and also to ensure the accurate measurement of the minerals so that the country does not lose out of its revenue from the sector.

Addressing the gathering, the Minister avowed that the construction of weigh bridges guarantees an effective monitoring of the minerals from the various sites to the Takoradi Port.

“The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and the Minerals Commission engaged stakeholders and undertook site visits to the operational areas of the mining companies and the Takoradi port, to assess the facilities in place for the haulage of these minerals. It was revealed after these engagements that, the country lacked tracking mechanisms to track and audit actual volumes of bauxite and manganese produced and exported. This weak monitoring mechanism results in huge loss of revenue to the State”, he stated.

“It, therefore, became necessary to put in place a robust system that will help us determine, accurately, at each given time, the actual volumes of these minerals transported, and the amount due the State. This requires that we repair faulty weighbridges, construct additional ones and properly calibrate them to provide accurate results”, he added.

“Consequently, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources took the decision to construct two (2) weighbridges, one here in Apemanim, which we commission today, and another in Awaso in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai Municipality of the Western North Region. These bridges will help us track and confirm actual volumes hauled from the mines to the Takoradi Port,” he said.

Making further revelations about the government’s plan for the sector, Hon. Jinapor detailed that adding value to the raw materials is the focus of the government. He made the disclosure that opening refineries where the raw materials can be polished will not only result in value addition but also create employment for the Ghanaian youth.

The Minister said the Ministry through the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation(GIADEC) and Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC) has already set in motion plans and policies which will in the medium to long term culminate in drastic growth and upturn in the aluminium and steel industries.

“In the medium to long term, however, Government is committed to ensuring that we add value to these minerals in order to reap their full benefits. Through its Four Project Agenda, the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), is working to add value to our bauxite and build, here in Ghana, an integrated aluminium industry.

“This will see to the expansion of the Awaso bauxite mine together with a refinery, the development of new mines in Nyinahini and Kyebi together with refineries, and the modernisation and expansion of the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) to smelt alumina refined here in Ghana.

“The Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), is also working to add value to our manganese deposits to build an integrated iron and steel industry,” he said.

Whiles commending the Minerals Commission, the Ghana Highway Authority, the Ghana Manganese Company, the Ghana Bauxite Company, the Mineral Haulers Association and the communities for their role in the actualization of the project, he urged the people who will be handling the place to exhibit “highest sense of professionalism and accountability, to ensure accurate recording of data”.

The Western Regional Minister, Hon. Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah touching on the project, noted that “this will ensure that Ghanaians get what is due them. When it is measured right, Ghanaians get what is due them and we all benefit.”.

He disclosed his belief in the sector Minister, Hon. Jinapor to address the issues in the manganese and bauxite industries and give Ghana “what it truly deserves.

He also highlighted the far-reaching and over-aching impacts of the mineral resources on the socio-economic development of the Western Region.

The Chief Obrempong Hema Dekyi XIV, on his part, congratulated government for constructing the weigh bridge which he stressed will ensure Ghanaians get what is due them.

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