Government says it will revive the hibernated Ghana Consolidated Diamonds Limited which, some years ago, created jobs and wealth for the people of Akwatia, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has assured.
In September, 2019, Government abrogated the contract awarded to Ghana Consolidated Diamonds Limited (GCDGL), a subsidiary of the Jospong Group of Companies and formerly Great Consolidated Diamonds Company Limited), in 2011, to mine diamonds at Akwatia, for breach of contract.
The company, among others, failed to make due the payment of $17 million to the Divestiture Implementation Committee (DIC), as well as, the rehabilitation and the refurbishment of facilities at the mining company to enhance production.
On a working visit to the company's premises at Akwatia, in the Eastern Region, President Akufo-Addo said all lingering issues debilitating against the smooth operations of the mining company will be dealt with expeditiously.
"It is my utmost responsibility that we ensure that such bottlenecks are all cleared to get the mine functioning again. That is why I am here today," he stated.
Accompanied by the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, the Minister for Trade and Industry, and the Director General of SIGA, the President gave his strongest
assurance to the Omanhene of Akwatia, Osabarima Kofi Boateng III, that a veritable solution will be reached soon to resolve the current situation confronting the company.
"So, I am giving you the strongest assurance that this matter is of grave concern to me, and I will ensure that, whatever has to be done to ensure that the good times once enjoyed by this mine are restored, will be done."
With the properties of the company in the country and abroad, President Akufo-Addo indicated that the Director General of SIGA had already made some efforts with regards to the company's property in London.
"We still own the property, and have not lost it to anyone. They (SIGA) have been able to identify it, and it is still a property of the company. It is the one in Accra that, I believe, has become a subject of some litigation, but we will look into and seek redress.
It may probably be that the lease on the property has not been renewed hence it current situation, but, as I have said, we will look into it critically, and get back to you with the results," he added.
Tree Crop Dev't Bill
With Government's efforts to diversify and transform Ghana's agriculture, President Akufo-Addo was excited that the traditional authorities at Akwatia had embraced the Oil Palm Project being undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
President Akufo-Addo said his Government is giving support to the cultivation of cashew, oil palm, mango, rubber, shea, so the country can reap similar or more benefits like the country does from cocoa.
"We cannot base the growth and development of our country on just a single produce, cocoa. We need to diversify, and a look at other non-traditional exports. Cote d'ivoire gets $16 billion dollars every year from their agricultural exports. We, in Ghana, get only $2 billion. That is not good enough," the President bemoaned.
He continued, "So, in three of four years, the investments we have made into these cash crops will certainly get us about $12 to $15 billion receipts of diversified agricultural exports. I am, therefore, happy that the project here has the full support of Nananom."
In order to ensure the proper regulation of these crops, President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that "before the end of this year, the Tree Crop Authority Bill laid in Parliament will be passed. It will ensure proper regulation of these crops, as has been done with COCOBOD. It will better equip farmers to reap the full benefits of their labour."