The Oti Regional Minister, Joshua Gmayenaam Makubu, has reiterated government’s intentions to build a viable, orderly, sustainable and environmentally-sound mining industry which anchored on integrity and value addition to the region’s recently discovered iron ore deposits.
He said the government is determined to ensure Ghana realises the full benefits of the iron ore deposit and at the same time, making sure its full value chain is retained in the Oti Region.
Mr Gmayenaam Makubu said this yesterday when he took his turn at the State of the Region Report, a platform put together by the Ministry of Information for Regional Ministers to brief the media on developments in their respective regions.
“Recently, the Region has discovered large quantities of iron ore. The Ghana Geological Survey Authority led the discovery of the large quantities of iron ore deposits. The iron ore is 55.22 weight percent (fe) and of a higher grade,” he stated.
The Oti Regional Minister emphasised that government is determined to provide value addition to its raw commodity, and would ensure that the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development work closely with the GGSA and the community to ensure that full value chain is retained in the region and the country.
The large iron ore deposits, discovered in Akokrowa, a farming community in the region is 55.22 weight percent (fe) and of a higher grade.
He said the exploration and the business of the Iron Ore will create jobs and wealth for the people of Oti and the country in general. He described the discovery of the iron ore in commercial quantities as “good news”, and urged the chiefs and people to work in harmony to drive development to the area.
He explained that it is the vision of the Akufo-Addo-led administration to ensure that the mining sector is dominated by Ghanaian industry players, hence GIISDEC will continue to give topmost privilege to local investors to mine. This, he believes, will lead to the retention of revenue from the sector in-country, which will result in the growth of the economy.
According to him, government has demonstrated beyond doubt that purging the mining sector of all forms of illegalities is a priority whereas President Akufo-Addo government is investing in value addition to retain the value of the Mineral resources in-country.
Mr Gmayenaam Makubu added that the iron ore was found in the Guan, Biakoye, Jasikan, Kajebi and Krachi districts in his region. He further disclosed that, already, 10 local and foreign investors had expressed interest in mining the iron ore
He, however, noted that none of the investors will exclusively own a concession, but will rather sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GIISDEC, and the host communities to mine within a specific period of time to benefit the region and the country at large.
Touching on the kilometers of road constructed in his region since 2017, Mr. Makubu pointed out that a total of 587km had been constructed and an additional 185.7km are under construction.
These, he mentioned, include the rehabilitations of the 21km Nkonya Wurupong to Kwamekrom road; the 30km reconstruction of the Hohoe to Jasikan road; the Jasikan to Dodo Pepeso road; and upgrading of the 26.8km Kete Krachi to Buya road.
On health, the Oti Regional Minister said 10 projects have been completed in the region whilst eight are still under construction.
He cited the CHPS compound at Dadease in the Nkwanta South Municipality, the CHPS compound at Azua market in the Nkwanta North District and the CHPS compound with nurses’ quarters at Nkonya Asakyiri in the Biakoye District.
The Regional Minister also explained that the creation of the region was not due to land dispute, contrary to reports. According to him, the inception of the region was to engender development.
He revealed that the coming into being of the Oti Region had brought much development to the people in the area, noting that “such level of development in the area would not have occurred if the Region had not been created”.
Mr. Makubu maintained that there is still unity and togetherness between the people of Oti and Volta regions despite the separation.
“The creation of Oti Region was not because of any land dispute. It was not because of any war between the people of Oti and then the people of Volta. What people do not know is that Oti and Volta are the same. As we speak now, there are voltarians in the Oti region who speak Ewe; those of us who are not voltarians, we have learned and speak Ewe with them.
“They are our brothers. Our friendship with Volta region is still intact, and we have always seen ourselves as one, but it is only in terms of sharing the national cake; that is where you will see that there is Oti and there is Volta. But our culture and our way of living is still the same,” he stated.