The mining sector generated a total of GH₵1.3 billion as tax revenue to government in 2019 while exports raked in US$3.3 billion within the same period.
Lands and Natural Resources Minister, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, who announced this, said the tax revenue amount represented 17 percent of total government revenue gathered for the year 2019, as collected by the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
He said the GH₵1.3 billion reflected an increase of 39 percent in the sector’s contribution to government revenue relative to the GH¢980 million contributed in 2018.
Addressing journalists at the Information Ministry’s Meet-the-Press session yesterday in Accra, he said US$3 billion was generated as export earnings in 2018, making mining a major forex earner for Ghana.”
No burning of Rosewood
The minister assured the public that government will not burn seized Rosewood but will rather put them to meaningful use.
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh said the Ministry had not issued any salvage permits for harvesting of rosewoods since the ban was placed on the rare species in March this year.
The Minister said he constituted a seven- member investigative committee, comprising representatives of civil society organisations, Ghana Revenue Authority and Parliamentary Select Committee on Lands and Forestry to unravel the activities of illegal exploitation of rosewoods and bring the perpetrators to book.
He said the final report of the investigative committee would be made public and urged all well-meaning Ghanaians to support Government’s efforts to curb the harvesting, transportation and export of the species.
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh said since 2017, Government established 20,073 hectares of plantation, while hundreds of youth were recruited under the Youth in Afforestation programmme to support government’s plantation programme to safeguard the Sanctity of the environment.
As at June 2019, a total of 26,425 persons were employed directly and indirectly by the mining sector.
He added that is a marked improvement over last year’s full employment figure of 23, 894, whilst noting that
Ghanaian participation in the mining sector has been on the rise. In 2018, he indicated, local procurement of goods accounted for 87.3 percent (US$1.4 billion) of total procurement in the mining sector.”
According to him, as at June 2019, a total of 25 local companies have been registered by the Minerals Commission to provide services.
The Minister also announced that from 2016 to 2019, a total of 2.1 million cubic metres of natural forest timber for domestic and export was harvested and the proceeds from it was managed by the Office of the Stool Lands and
He said from 2016 to 2019, 177,801 assorted lumber, 487 chainsaw, 279 vehicles, 355 dredging machines and 68 logs were seized.
In addition, 3,277 hectares of illegal farms were destroyed, while 774 suspects were arrested while 293 were prosecuted.
The Government of Ghana, he said, has invested an amount of GH₵ 2.8 million to address challenges with the Ghana Digital Seismic Network.
The investment, which were made in May 2019, took care of cost of satellite renewal, cost of establishing solar power systems, cost of spare parts and cost of service level agreement.
The Minister said the investment was aimed at ensuring that Ghana was adequately prepared to reduce the risk of any future earthquake or earth tremor.
According to the Minister, recent earth tremors in the country were indications that the fault systems in Ghana, particularly in Accra, are still active and stress continues to build up on them.
He recounted that the country experienced two earth tremors on January 13, and March 2, 2019, with magnitudes 2.8 and 3.9 respectively on the Richter scale.