President John Dramani Mahama on Saturday announced that Government would establish two gold refineries to process and add value to the country’s gold before exporting.
He said the establishment of the refineries would not only give the country better value for its gold, but would also create job opportunities for more Ghanaians who would be employed in those refineries.
President Mahama announced this when he addressed the Ghanaian community at Worcester in Boston, Massachusetts, as part his 10-day official visit to the United States of America.
Since his arrival, President Mahama had addressed the 69th Session of the United Nations Assembly, attended and participated in crucial debates pertaining to the economy and governance, held bilateral discussions and engaged the business community with the hope of wooing them for investment in Ghana and Africa.
President Mahama explained that while one of the refineries would be funded by the Precious Minerals Commission, the other one was a foreign direct investment to add value and avoid the perennial exportation of gold in its raw form.
The processing of the gold before exporting, he said, would reduce the risk of losing millions of cedis in the event of any fall of gold prices on the international market.
President Mahama said the refineries would also encourage mining companies to carry out their activities throughout the year, unlike the current state when most of them shut up anytime there were falls in prices of the commodity on the international market.
He said, currently, the proceeds of Ghana’s oil was negligible since the whole of last year the country earned a total of $700 million, which was comparatively lower than cocoa and gold.
Answering questions on corruption in Ghana, President Mahama challenged all Ghanaians to be up standing against the practice that had become a canker in the Ghanaian society.
He attributed the situation to institutional weakness that had created loopholes for individuals and organisations to take advantage of.
President Mahama said Government was reviewing the procurement laws to reduce the sole sourcing contracts where the malpractices and corrupt activities were envisaged to be emanating from.
On wastage in the Ghanaian system, President Mahama said he had directed the Chief of Staff to write to all organisations asking them to feed the Presidency with the housing system for their chief executives and their management staff.
He said it was only after receiving reports from various organisations that his administration would be in the position to determine how to handle and avoid waste in the public sector.
He said he had ordered that pre-paid electricity metres be installed in the houses of all government appointees, where they would be compelled to pay for their own utility bills.
Professor Kwamena Panford, a leader of the community, commended President Mahama for recognising their presence in Boston.
He said they had a strong and vibrant association that had, over the years, compelled members to contribute in all forms towards the socio-economic development of their villages and communities in Ghana. GNA