Responding to concerns raised by his constituency, MP Isaac Kwame Asiamah went on record earlier this week to promise that proceeds from the Nhyinani bauxite operations would benefit the populace and not big businesses or government officials.
“The government is now banking [its] economic hope on our bauxite so I can say that majority of the proceeds are going to benefit our people,” explained Asiamah.
Per Asiamah, who also serves in the cabinet of Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, the government has approved loans for road improvement even before bauxite mining has begun.
“Over seven thousand kilometers of our roads have received approval and work will start soon,” he revealed.
The government has lately been the target of intense criticism from Ghana’s younger population, blaming the ban on illicit mining for the decrepit state of the region’s roads and the area’s overall economic malaise.
But Asiamah, who also doubles as Ghana’s Minister of Youth and Sports, said that relief is coming, as the government is planning to end the ban on small-scale mining known as galamsey.
“We already know as a government the hardship facing you but don’t use that as an excuse and go back do the galamsey. I don’t want to hear or see you being chased away by police and military because of galamsey.”
The West African country sits atop the biggest known bauxite ore reserves in the world. However, bringing those reserves to market has proven to be a struggle for several years. Lack of infrastructure, coupled with political and social unrest, has made the full utilization of the country’s bauxite ore reserves difficult at best.
However, the election of Akufo-Addo may well see a change in that course, as his win at the polls is largely due to the promise he made on the campaign trail to make bauxite mining a national priority.