Alhaji Farouk Aliu Mahama, Board Chairman of the Ghana Integrated Iron and Steel Development Corporation (GIISDEC), has assured that his outfit is poised to provide strategic direction and the needed dedication for developing a vibrant Integrated Iron and Steel industry in Ghana.
He said the dream of real industrialisation to build an integrated Iron and Steel industry has been on the horizon for far too long, and that lessons learned from the past have informed his outfit to do things differently to make the dream a reality.
“We are poised to define our focus and chart a roadmap to achieving the president’s vision of an Integrated Iron and Steel Industry,” he said.
Alhaji Farouk Aliu Mahama was speaking at the opening of a two-day stakeholders’ workshop held in Accra to develop a Masterplan for Ghana’s Iron and Steel Industry.
The Masterplan has four major areas to deal with – Mining, Refinery, Smelting and Downstream – which are critical to the achievement of a vibrant industry.
“This Masterplan will enhance and enrich our collaboration with stakeholders to develop critical infrastructure, like Port and Railway Infrastructure, to enable transportation of Iron, Steel and other bulk materials, adequate Power and best environmental practices,” he added.
He said the Board and Management of GIISDEC are spearheading the stakeholders’ consultation workshop to build a Masterplan that will be acceptable to all stakeholders for the operationalisation of the Corporation, adding that the final Masterplan will be unveilled to Ghanaians by President Nana Akufo-Addo and the Minster for Lands and Natural Resources when completed.
Alhaji Farouk Aliu Mahama, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Yendi, noted that there is a need for the new GIISDEC Board to build on the foundation and positive gains of his predecessors to achieve their targetted goals.
He said the dream of GIISDEC to build an integrated Iron and Steel industry is a national agenda and investment for our collective future that requires the input and collaboration from all to make history.
The GIISDEC Board Chairman announced that his team is five months ahead of the timelines set out for developing the Masterplan, which he said is a result of his determination to work together with his board members, management, staff, and stakeholders to get the Masterplan for Ghana’s Iron and Steel Industry before the end of 2022.
According to him, the Masterplan is necessary for the industry in order to provide technical guidance and practical direction at every step of the way to develop the entire iron and steel value chain and boost the Ghanaian economy.
“If anyone ever doubted president’s vision to build a thriving integrated iron and steel industry being realised, let them look no further than this key project and others GIISDEC is undertaking,” he reiterated.
He said the Masterplan will define the full scope of Ghana’s Integrated Iron and Steel Industry and also ensure the full utilisation of iron-ore reserves the country is endowed with.
The Yendi legislator observed that GIISDEC has become a key component of government’s industrialisation and transformation agenda, and as a result GIISDEC is building partnerships with the private sector to attract significant investment into the industry to enhance the economy.
He indicated that the global trends indicate a growing demand for iron and its related artifacts, and this enforces their resolve to make Ghana the iron and steel hub of Africa.
Alhaji Mahama however disclosed that some of the major challenges ahead of them are: environmental concerns, transportation bottlenecks, the high-energy intensive process of steel production, and the need to develop clean alternatives in terms of energy solutions.