fbpx

Govt pushing hard to pass iron, steel development law

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
Mr.Benito Owusu-Bio,Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources with participants after the closing ceremony of the one week workshop. Picture: EBOW HANSON
Mr.Benito Owusu-Bio,Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources with participants after the closing ceremony of the one week workshop. Picture: EBOW HANSON

The government is pushing hard to pass the Ghana Iron and Steel Development Authority (GISDA) Bill into law before Parliament rises this year.

The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Forestry, Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, who made this known, said the bill had already been read for the second time in Parliament.

"We want to ensure that by the time the House rises, we will get the bill through so that the GISDA can be established to help develop the iron and steel industry," he said.

He said apart from providing leadership, the authority would also help attract the right investors and promote value addition to transform the iron and steel industry.

Mr Owusu-Bio stated this at the closing session of an international capacity-building summit on effective mineral resource management in Accra yesterday.

The summit was meant to equip participants with knowledge and skills on how to discover lesser-known minerals, data management and the sustainable use of mineral resources.

He added that the move to establish the GISDA was part of efforts by the government to diversify the country's mineral portfolio and also promote value addition.

Summit

The two-week summit was a collaboration between the European Geological Surveys and the Organisation of Africa Geological Surveys and was facilitated by the Geological Survey of Finland.

Dubbed Pan African Geological (PanAfGeo) project 2019, the summit was designed to build the capacities of the staff of African Geological Survey Authorities to improve on service delivery.

It also served as a platform for the participants to discuss and learn new trends and best practices in the exploitation, management and use of minerals.

The participants were drawn from Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroun, Kenya, Namibia, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Eritrea.

Diversification

Mr Owusu-Bio said the government had supported the GSA to improve on its facilities and technical know-how to better position the staff of the authority to work efficiently to explore untapped and lesser-known minerals.

“Iron, steel and aluminium are the future minerals for this country and we are lucky to have these resources, so we want to have a paradigm shift from exporting them in the raw form to adding value to it,” he said.

He also said the plan to set up the GISDA was a strategic move that would help produce steel and other products that would serve as raw materials for the many automobile companies that intended to set up in Ghana.

Diligence

The Project Manager for Africa and official of the Geological Survey of Finland, Ms Ritta Teerilahti, who also addressed the closing session, said it was important for African countries to take steps to build robust geological survey regimes that would help exploit more mineral resources.

She urged the participants in the summit to replicate the knowledge they had acquired during the training programme in their respective jurisdictions.

The acting Director of GSA, Dr Daniel Boamah, said the authority had received support from the government to improve on its operations.