Yao Graham slams govt for leasing Ada salt Lagoon to private firm

The Coordinator of the Third World Network-Africa, Dr. Yao Graham, has slammed government for giving the Ada lagoon to a private firm, Electrochem Ghana Limited.

A private investor, Dr. Daniel McKorkely who owns Electrochem Ghana Limited, was given a lease of over 41,000 acres of the Ada Songor Lagoon on September 19, 2019.

Speaking during a public lecture to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the University of Ghana under the theme, ‘restructuring the national economy, the need for a paradigm shift’, Dr. Yao Graham described as a political disaster the leasing of the Lagoon to the private firm.

He bemoaned the source of livelihood which has been taken from the indigenes.

“Ada has the best salt endowment in West Africa. Since 2020, Ada has been a zone of conflict, because the government took a decision to give the whole lagoon to one firm. If you look at previous governments’ reports on Ada, one thing that I will talk about is that it will be a political disaster and economically not the best choice to give the whole lagoon to one firm. The reason why this choice has led to conflict is very simple, the Ada people for years –generation of salt has been a main choice of livelihoods– it’s a very poor farming area”.

He stressed, “As a result of the decision of previous governments to allow access to large-scale firms, conflict broke out. The PNDC took the lagoon into a trust for the people of Ada. And carried out a broader consultation with the locals, bringing out a master plan for salt development in Ghana with Ada as the centre piece. The scheme was going to allow small-scale salt producers to co-exist with large-scale salt producers in a public-private scheme with infrastructural investments by the government which will serve as a source of raw material input for industry and a growth pole for the rural community”.

Electrochem is a subsidiary of the McDan Group of Companies.

It is the largest salt and chlorine-alkali manufacturing firm in West Africa with a concession spanning 41,000 acres at Ada Songor.

The company, which was granted a fifteen-year mining lease to explore the salt resource in the Ada Songor launched its operations in November 2020 with a target to produce one million (1,000,000) metric tons of salt per annum to supply to both the local and export markets.

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