Nene Agudey Obikyere
THE CHIEFS and people of Ada have called for jobs from the Ada Songhor Salt Project for the youth in their communities following the ratification of the mining leases.
Parliament recently reviewed a Mining Lease Agreement between the Government of Ghana and Electrochem Ghana Ltd in respect of the Ada Songhor salt for 15 years, subject to renewal upon expiration.
The Mining Lease Agreements gives Electrochem Ghana Limited the mineral rights to dig, mine and produce salt in the areas specified in the agreement for 15 years.
The chiefs and people have reacted positively to the development and expressed the hope that the chronic unemployment which had plagued the area for several years will soon be a thing of the past.
Nene Abram Kabu Akuaku III, Chief of Ada, last week, commended President Akufo-Addo for working to ensure the ratification of the mining leases.
He said after several appeals on his part and other chiefs as well as stakeholders to the relevant authorities, President Akufo-Addo stepped in and worked on the processes and sent three mining lease agreements to Ada Songhor Salt Project through the Minerals Commission and the Ministry for Lands and Natural Resources to Parliament for ratification.
“I am further delighted to say that Parliament, after going through its due process has ratified these agreements in favour of Electrochen Ghana Limited (EGL) associated with our preferred investor,” he said.
The chief also indicated that to meet its local content obligations, EGL was mandated to source its skilled and unskilled labour first from Ada, adding the Ada traditional authority would have representatives on the board to oversee the smooth running of the project.
Nene Agudey Obikyere, Mankralo of Ada, in a comment, said the people of Ada had over the years been deprived of access to the river for both fishing and salt mining.
Such a situation, he said, had fueled tension and outrage resulting in conflict with grantees.
According to Michael Martey, Production Coordinator for EGL, the company expected to produce between 130,000 tonnes to 200,000 tonnes of salt within the first two years.
He added that the company would rely heavily on the labour from the community to ensure the agreement and partnership was a win-win for all parties involved.
Ghana’s salt production capacity is estimated at 2.330 million metric tonnes out of which the area under consideration, accounts for about 1.4 million metric tonnes.