President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said a fully developed Ada Songor Salt project has the potential to make a major contribution to the economic development of Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo said Nigeria, who is Ghana’s next door neighbour, has a demand for one million tons of salt annually, which is met by Brazilian exporters.
That demand, according to the President, could be taken up by ElectroChem Ghana Limited, and other investors who have made huge investments in the Ada Songor salt area.
Addressing the Paramount Chief of Ada Traditional Area, Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III, and his delegation who called on him at the Jubilee House on Monday, President Akufo-Addo said Ghana is fortunate to have had serious investors this time who are committed and determined to mine this natural resource for the development of Ada and Ghana as a whole.
That project, the President indicated, has the potential to generate the needed foreign exchange for the country whiles creating jobs, particularly for the teaming youth of Ada and its surrounding communities.
“And that, it is the responsibility of all of us, especially, you (Chiefs of Ada and people of Ada),… to give maximum support to this development,” he stated.
ElectroChem Ghana Limited, a wholly Ghanaian Company, is a mining company which has secured a concession of 41,000 acres at the Ada Songor to produce 1,000,000 metric tons of salt every year.
It is the largest salt and chlorine-alkali manufacturing company in West Africa, and one of the leading players in the world’s salt industry.
Illegal salt miners at the Songor area who have been accused of allegedly attacking workers of ElectroChem Ghana Limited, recently demonstrated against the company for preventing them from mining within the concessional zone, a move they vehemently opposed and had called for the company to disengage from the area.
The Paramount Chief of Ada, Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III and his delegation on Monday, petitioned the President to direct the State security agencies to offer protection to the company from miscreants and “people who do not have the welfare of the community at heart but only there for their individual pockets.”
Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III also assured President Akufo-Addo and the Government of their readiness to assist ElectroChem Ghana Limited to mine salt at the Songor area for the betterment of not only Ada and its people, but the whole country.
The Paramount Chief also pleaded with the Minerals Commission to be actively involved in bringing those illegal salt mining operations at the Songor Area to an end.
The Paramount Chief enumerated a lot of benefits the company had brought to the area which include the supply of portable drinking water to institutions and communities, disbursements of interest-free loans to women entrepreneurs, the construction of a sports complex at Sege to unearth sports talents, among others.
President Akufo-Addo expressed surprise about the inability of State security Agencies to protect the company’s investments and, prevent the miscreants and attackers from encroaching on ElectroChem Ghana Limited concession.
The President was, however, happy that Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III had taken some progressive steps and is determined to assist to make sure the project is successful.
“But clearly, the illegal operators in the illegal salt mining, illegal mining lugging, illegal gold mining known as “galamsey” are all dangerous phenomenon that destroys the environment,” he stated.
President Akufo-Addo, acting on the request of the Paramount Chief, directed the Inspector General of Police to immediately offer protection to the company, while the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources and the Minerals Commission, make sure illegal salt mining in that area is seized.
The President also accepted the request made by Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III for him to visit the Ada Songor Area, and also, participate in the Ada Traditional Council Meeting which is scheduled for August, 3.
Rex Mainoo Yeboah, ISD