Julius K. Satsi, GNA
Accra, March 13, GNA - Four institutions will meet on Thursday, March 14, to discuss ways to enhance the participation of local companies in the supply of inputs to the mining industry.
The Ghana Chamber of Mines, the Minerals Commission, the Ghana Standards Authority and the Association of Ghana Industries would also explore ways on how local manufacturing companies could upscale the production of the inputs.
Mr Sulemana Koney, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, made this known at a two-day media training workshop to enlighten journalists on the current developments in the mining industry.
It was also to deliberate on how to improve transparency and accountability in the management of the mineral resources and revenue from the mining sector.
Mr Koney said the Chamber had also approved to set up a Tertiary Education Fund (TEF), which would start next year, with the George Grant University of Mines and Technology.
He said the fund would support students in tertiary institutions, especially in areas around technical innovation, to ensure that graduates were abreast of the happenings in the mining sector even before they started work.
As part of the operationalisation of the Fund, Mr Koney said there would be an opportunity for students to be working within the mines and getting on the job experiences before they completed school.
He said the Chamber was pursing that agenda to ensure that future workers in the mines were technically trained to take up the job.
Mr Martin Ayisi, the Deputy CEO of the Minerals Commission in-charge of Promotion and Development, said it was about time the localisation in the mining sector was taken seriously due to its potential to retain most of the mining procurement expenditure.
He said revenues the country had been accruing from minerals was woefully insignificant and that there was the need to push for more Ghanaians to participate in the mining industry.
He, however, said the issue of skills shortage was not peculiar to Ghana and Africa but also to the developed world, who usually relied on nationals from all over the world to work in their mining industries.
Mr Ayisi said although the TEF had been long overdue, the Commission was glad it would finally be implemented to ensure more Ghanaians built competitive skills to be able to work in the mining industry.
Mr Collins Anim Sackey, the Head of Policy and Planning at the Minerals Commission, noted that there are currently 29 items on the procurement list for mining companies and services that should solely be left for Ghanaian-owned companies such as haulage services.
He said there had been a challenge, over the years, especially when it came to human resource, as many Ghanaians were not available to take up jobs reserved for locals, leading to the violation of local content policy by mining companies.