Minister-designate for Lands and Natural Resources has proposed the establishment of a Salt Development Authority to properly harness and maximise the potential of the salt industry’s contribution to the economy.
Samuel Abu Jinapor believes the industry holds enormous potential to earn foreign exchange and create employment for the teeming unemployed youth.
Ghana’s salt production levels are estimated to be around 250,000 m/t annually with a potential to scale up to between 2-3 million m/t especially with an endowment of about 500km of coastline.
In 2019, Nigeria imported some US$190million of salt with some 53% of the product brought in from Brazil. While Ghana is just 211nautical miles to Nigeria, it takes a distance of 4,510 nautical miles from the Port of Santos in Brazil to the Port of Lagos in Nigeria.
Responding to questions at the sitting of the Appointments Committee of Parliament on Wednesday, the nominee stressed on the need to build a competitive salt industry to be able to serve the needs of the country and the sub-region.
“It is time we probably should consider the establishment of a Salt Development Authority whose mandate will be to build the full value chain of salt in Ghana”, Jinapor recommended, assuring he will make a formal representation to cabinet should he assume office.
The Minister-designate observed that building a competitive salt industry would require the establishment of a salt terminal and refineries to process and add value to the raw salt.
Government last year signed a 15-year mining lease agreement with ElectroChem Ghana limited (EGL) mine salt at the Songhor Salt site which holds a potential production capacity of about 1.4 million metric tonnes.
By: Godfred Tawiah Gogo