Mr Prince Bagnaba- Mba, President of Forum for National Equity, a civil society organisation, has called on the government to review the blanket ban on the export of scrap metals.
He told Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra that the ban is affecting the livelihood of about one million Ghanaians especially those from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.
Mr Bagnaba- Mba said with small capital those in the business are able to sustain the greater part of the population with their income and helps to tackle unemployment.
He said stakeholders were not consulted before the ban and the decision was not in the best interest of the nation, since it favours only a few steel mills.
“It has consequences on the economy since government gets revenue through the scrap exports. Export of scrap also reduces environmental degradation, “he said.
Mr Bagnaba-Mba noted that the scrap trade generated a number of recycle companies, which are out of business due to the ban.
He warned that a country with a large number of unemployed youth could encourage crime, adding: “An idle hand is the devils workshop.”
He said the legislation banning the export of scrap must be amended to exclude cast, iron, steel balls, mining liners and ductile pipes since the local industries have no capacity to handle these items.
Mr Bagnaba-Mba asked: “While other countries are making efforts to get rid of junks, why are we striving to maintain waste products in Ghana?”
He said the legislation should be reviewed through consultation with stakeholders in order to get rid of the huge stock piles of the metals.
He observed that the transformation of the economy should be based on speed, accuracy and not through stagnation processes such as the ban on the scrap exports.
“Ghana imports a lot and we have a lot to export as well. Export of metals helps to balance trade,” he said. GNA