The attainment of a GH¢1trillion economy as projected in the 2024 budget is attainable, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources Samuel Abu Jinapor has said – noting that the mining sector has been positioned to make this possible.
“With the investments that are being put into the mining sector, the sector is going to contribute strongly to the national economy – which will help to ensure that we get this GH¢1trillion economy for our country,” said Mr. Jinapor, who is also Member of Parliament (MP) for Damongo constituency.
The minister said this during a debate in parliament over the 2024 Budget and Economic Policy presented by finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta last week.
Mr. Ofori-Atta projected the country’s GDP for 2024 to surpass GH¢1trillion from GH¢801billion projected in 2023. “The 2024 budget is even more significant because we will cross the GH¢1trillion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) mark for the first time in our economic history. Ghana’s economy under President Akufo-Addo’s final year in office is projected to be valued at over GH¢1trillion in 2024 from the GH¢219.5billion of 2016.”
Mr. Jinapor, in his submission, said the projection will be attained through implementing old interventions in the mining sector: one of which, he indicated, is the construction of a large-scale mining operation in the northern part of the country – the Cardinal Namdini project. “We are talking about more than US$1billion,” he said.
Highlighting the sector’s contributions to the economy, Mr. Jinapor said: “Today, Ghana is the leading producer of gold on the African continent. The mining sector’s contribution to our foreign exchange earnings is strong,” – citing benefits of the Gold for Oil programme as a major intervention to that effect.
Government introduced the Gold for Oil programme with an aim of securing competitively priced oil by selling gold to ease pressure on the local currency, reduce fuel prices and fix balance of payment issues.
The lands minister and MP for Damongo stressed that until introduction of the Gold for Oil Programme, the Bank of Ghana’s reserves when it came to gold was insignificant.
“The Gold for Oil Programme is alongside the Domestic Gold Purchase Programme of the Bank of Ghana. Through the Domestic Gold Purchase Programme, today, our nation can say proudly that the BoG reserves when it comes to gold are shored-up. This is well demonstrated in the Gold for Oil Programme.
“Almost 30 percent of our national crude oil consumption was purchased through this policy without having to look for dollars – the scarce foreign exchange to import this crude oil into our country. That has resulted in a reduction of fuel prices in the country,” he further noted.
Through prudent management, policies and programmes, Mr. Jinapor indicated that aside from the exploration aspect, government and his office are putting in place measures that add value to mineral resources – making reference to the GH¢400refinery for processing manganese and also construction of an integrated aluminum industry.
“The Ghana Manganese Company Limited is going to build a refinery, and it’s going to cost about US$400million. This is going to be the first-time manganese is going to be processed in Ghana.
“We are building an integrated aluminum industry in Ghana that is going to become the foundation – the anchor for industrialisation,” he posited.