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The mining sector, in the first half of 2018, contributed a total of GH₵1.03 billion to government revenue.
This indicates an increase of 17.11% as compared to the 2017 first half value of GH₵877 million.
Again, the sector contributed 7.2% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017, compared to 8.0% GDP in 2016.
This means the sector contributed GH₵17.1 billion to the Ghanaian economy in 2017, compared to GH₵15.8 billion in 2016.
Further, the sector contributed 44% of total merchandise exports in 2017, translating into US$6 billion, compared to US$5 billion in 2016, representing 45%.
For the first half of 2018, minerals export earned Ghana US$3.1 billion, representing 38% of Total Merchandise Export.
The sector also contributed GH₵2.2 billion to government revenue, representing 16.3% of total domestic tax revenue collected by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
This represented 32% increase in the sector’s contribution to government revenue, compared to GH¢1.6 billion in 2016.
Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh gave these statistics at a press briefing yesterday in Accra.
The briefing was to inform Ghanaians on the current status of implementation of programmes and projects being pursued by the ministry within the National Medium-Term Development Policy Framework and other National and International Strategic Plans.
Investments in the mining sub-sector
He noted that investments in the mining sector have seen an increase of 7% in 2017.
This showed an increase from US$970 million in 2016 to US$1.04 billion in 2017.
As part of government’s effort to promote local content in the mining industry and in accordance with the Minerals and Mining Act (Regulations, 2012 (L.I.2173), he said the ministry, working with the Minerals Commission in 2018, identified nine products in addition to the existing 19 to be procured locally by mining companies in the country.
“The purpose of adding on to the local procurement list for the mining industry is to ensure that goods and services which are locally available in adequate quantities at an optimal price and meet the appropriate safety and quality standards are patronised by the mining industry with the view of promoting the growth of the economy, particularly in the manufacturing and service sectors, thereby reducing imports and creating employment in country,” he explained.
According to him, the increase in revenues accruing from the sector is as a result of increase in production of the traditional minerals, coupled with favourable metal price on the international commodities market.
The minister said bauxite production increased by 16% in 2017 to 1.5 million metric tonnes, compared to 1.3 million metric tonnes in 2016.
He said manganese production saw an increase to 3 million metric tonnes in 2017, representing an increase of 49% over 2016 production.
Gold production, however, witnessed a marginal dip from 4.24 million ounces in 2016 to 4.23 million ounces in 2017.
For 2018, he mentioned that all minerals, except bauxite, witnessed significant increase in production during the first half as compared to 2017.
As part of efforts to restore the nation’s degraded landscapes to a productive one, he said the ministry continued to implement strategies and activities under the National Forest Plantation Development Programme.
The goal of the programme, according to him, is to develop a sustainable resource base that will satisfy the future demand for industrial timber and enhance environmental quality, thereby relieving pressure on the natural forest and increase forest cover.
Youth in Afforestation Programme
Cheremeh disclosed that, currently, over 60,000 beneficiaries have been engaged under the programme, of which women make up 30% of the total number.
This, he said, is part of government’s job creation agenda in the forestry sub-sector to boost plantation activities in the country.
“This forms part of the total job created this year under the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy,” he added.
According to him, the Youth Employment Agency was initially to recruit 15,000 youth, but the number has been exceeded as a result of overwhelming interest expressed by the teeming youth.
He announced that by June 2019, the government would have completed policy reforms that will allow farmers to enjoy the benefits of nurturing trees on their farms, adding that this policy is to motivate farmers to keep trees on their farms to reduce deforestation and forest degradation in off-reserve areas.
Source: John Elliot Hagan || The Finder