The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, says the country’s mining sector is in crisis due to the neglect of the sector by successive governments.
Referring to the current impasse between Gold Fields Ghana Limited and the Mine-workers Union, the Tamale South Member of Parliament said much needed to be done to set the mining industry on the right path.
He was contributing to a statement on the floor of Parliament by MP for Abirem, Johnny Osei Frimpong on the Mining Development Act.“The Parliament of Ghana over the years has slept on this constitutional onerous responsibility in ratifying Parliamentary agreements and we must be seen doing so because we owe it a duty to mining communities for the mining companies to develop them. Indeed, as I’m speaking Mr. Speaker, the mining industry in Ghana is in a near crisis. I know what is happening to Gold Fields, we know what has happened to takeovers and the amalgamation but many of them Parliament is not even apprised.”
“The mining industry used to be a major employer but it is not the case today. Yet we continue exporting gold. Can’t we process our own gold in order to find value? Mr. Speaker, I’ve repeated myself several times on this matter – if you want to cure a depreciating cedi or an epileptic cedi against major currencies, the solution lies in expanded exports,” he added.
Protest over announced layoffs
Gold Fields Ghana Limited in December 2017 announced that it is changing its operational strategy from owner mining to contract mining.
The situation is leading to the laying off of some 1,500 workers at its Tarkwa mine in the Western Region.
The decision has been heavily resisted by the Ghana Mine Workers’ Union which has accused the company of acting in bad faith leading to a demonstration on Monday, March 12, 2018.
This was after the Union’s attempt to get the company to reverse its decision in court failed.
Gov’t intervenes after workers’ protest
Meanwhile, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, John Peter Amewu, in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show said government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with aggrieved workers over the issue.
According to him, the MoU was aimed at ensuring that the affected workers are re-engaged under the new arrangement.
“Yesterday [ Monday], we had a very extensive meeting together with the Ministry of Labour and the Union executives to resolve this issue. So we have resolved and signed some Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry and union. So that is what we are doing to ensure that we bring this issue to a halt,” the Minister added.
By: Godwin A. Allotey & Duke Mensah Opoku/citifmonline.com/Ghana