Hon. George Mireku Duker, the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Mines has given workers of the Ghana Bauxite Company (GBC), the assurance that government will not make any move that will deprive them of their livelihoods.
According to him, government’s ultimate aim is to protect the livelihoods of the staff, ensure the sustainability of the company and strategically position it as the nation’s foremost bauxite firm.
Addressing the staff after a meeting with the management of Ghana Bauxite Company, today Tuesday, August 24, 2021, the Deputy Minister, explained that the immediate step being taking by government is geared towards streamlining activities of the company so that it does not flout the country’s mining laws and also guarantee maximum benefits for the state and the workers.
Hon. Mireku Duker averred that there is a huge potential for the company and that government is bent on finding ways to explore the potential of the company to its apex and make it a viable source of revenue and employment.
“I will ask you to relax because you are the reason why we are here. We are not going to leave you behind. We’ll carry you along for the prospect and future of this company. You may have a heart that will say I wouldn’t understand what the minister is saying but in all sincerity we are all here for the betterment of this country and that explains our visit this morning”, he said.
“We are here to give you the assurance that government will not do anything to thwart your working future. You’ve been working for this company and it has reached a certain level where government wants to takeover the shares of this company. As the supervising Ministry, we are working to ensure that we make the settlement so please never lose trust and faith or throw your hands in despair. There is a future that is going to see this government move from strength to strength. So I’m here to assure you of our commitment” he added.
Hon. George Mireku Duker meanwhile, cautioned that government will not hesitate to crack the whip on foreign companies found culpable of breaching the country laws. He assured however that mining firms that strictly adhere to the rules will be protected and enjoy the full benefit of their investment.
The Member of Parliament for Tarkwa-Nsuaem noted that the company’s fortunes has dwindled over the years due to inefficient management but government through the Ministry of Lands is prepared to ensure a turnaround.
He urged the workers to have belief in the government and gave it their utmost support to help propel the company to the lofty heights it ought to.
“Our history hasn’t been that smooth in terms of profit-making and that has not given the country the dividends it expects. Future of this company is important. Whatever will be mined today, we will not have it tomorrow. You also know that we mine for a purpose. South Africa is touted to have used mining to develop some of its cities because the owners of those concessions are in the country and whatever they mine are kept in South Africa. In Ghana, we have a different story because most our big companies are foreign owned so we depend on taxes.”
Buttressing what Hon. Mireku Duker said, the Western North Regional Minister, Hon. Richard Joojo Obeng said. government is concerned with recent development within the company and is focused on resolving the issues to ensure smooth operations.
According to him, the engagement between the deputy minister and staff and management of the Ghana Bauxite Company follows recent reports of tension within the company over the withdrawal of one of the company’s key investors.
Preceding the meeting with the staff and management was a courtesy call on the paramount chief of Sefwi-Wiawso, Ogyeahorhuor Kwaku Gyebi II at his palace.
Hon. George Mireku Duker and his entourage including the CEO of Minerals Commission, Mr. Martin Ayisi, CEO of GIADEC, Mr. Michael Ansah, the Chief Inspector of Mines, Richard Kofi Adjei and the Technical Director of Mines, Mr. Peter Awuah are on a fact-finding mission to unravel the full state of the company and how the issues crippling it can be resolved.