Akufo-Addo promises to revive Ghana Consolidated Diamonds

The
President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured the Chiefs and
people of Akwatia that his government will do all within its power to
revive the Ghana Consolidated Diamonds Ltd.

According
to President Akufo-Addo, the Ghana Consolidated Diamonds Ltd, in times
past, “has helped create jobs and wealth for the people of Akwatia.

“Therefore,
if, today, there are some lingering issues concerning the operation of
the mine, then it is my utmost responsibility that we ensure that such
bottlenecks are all cleared to get the mine functioning again. That is
why I am here today.”

President
Akufo-Addo made this known on Sunday, 13th October, 2019, when he paid a
working visit to the company, as part of his 3-day tour of the Eastern
Region.

In
September, government abrogated the contract awarded to the Great
Consolidated Diamonds Ghana Limited (GCDGL) in 2011, a subsidiary of the
Jospong Group of Companies, to mine diamonds at Akwatia, for breach of
contract.

The
company, in the words of the Director General of the State Interests
and Governance Authority (SIGA), Hon. Stephen Asamoah Boateng, failed to
fulfil its core mandate of paying $17 million to the Divestiture
Implementation Committee (DIC), as well as rehabilitating and
refurbishing facilities at the mines to enhance production.

Akufo-Addo GCD

In
the presence of the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, the
Minister for Trade and Industry, and the Director-General of SIGA, the
President assured the Omanhene of Akwatia, Osabarima Kofi Boateng III
that a veritable solution will be reached soon to resolve the current
situation confronting the company.

“So,
I am giving you the strongest assurance that this matter is of grave
concern to me, and I will ensure that, whatever has to be done to ensure
that the good times once enjoyed by this mine are restored, will be
done.”

Touching
on the properties owned by the company, a concern of the Akwatia
Omanhene, the President indicated that the Director-General of SIGA has
already made some efforts with regards to a property in London.

“We
still own the property, and have not lost it to anyone. They (SIGA)
have been able to identify it, and it is still a property of the
company. It is the one in Accra that, I believe, has become a subject of
some litigation, but we will look into and seek redress. It may
probably be that the lease on the property has not been renewed hence it
current situation, but, as I have said, we will look into it
critically, and get back to you with the results,” he added.

Akufo-Addo GCD

 Tree Crop Development Bill

Touching
on Government’s efforts at diversifying Ghanaian agriculture, President
Akufo-Addo was excited that the traditional authorities at Akwatia have
embraced the Oil Palm Project being undertaken by the Ministry of
Agriculture and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

President Akufo-Addo noted that his Government is giving support to the cultivation of cashew, oil palm, mango, rubber, shea, so the country can reap similar or more benefits like the country does from cocoa.

We cannot base the growth and development of our country on just a single produce, cocoa. We need to diversify, and a look at other non-traditional exports. Cote d’Ivoire gets $16 billion dollars every year from their agricultural exports. We, in Ghana, get only $2 billion. That is not good enough,” the President bemoaned.

He
continued, “So, in three of four years, the investments we have made
into these cash crops will certainly get us about $12 to $15 billion
receipts of diversified agricultural exports. I am, therefore, happy
that the project here has the full support of Nananom.”

In
order to ensure the proper regulation of these crops, President
Akufo-Addo told the gathering that “before the end of this year, the
Tree Crop Authority Bill laid in Parliament will be passed. It will
ensure proper regulation of these crops, as has been done with COCOBOD.
It will better equip farmers to reap the full benefits of their labour.”

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