April 24, 2024

The long-anticipated Songor Lagoon project has been operationalised by the Akufo-Addo government. The commercialisation of salt mine in Sege had witnessed failed attempts at functioning by successive governments for 45 years.

On Wednesday, August 30, 2023, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, commissioned the US$88 million project undertaken by Electrochem Ghana Limited in Sege, in the Ada West District.

In his address at the project site, President Akufo-Addo was delighted that it was under his government that the Songor Lagoon was operationalised.

“I am glad that under the government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Songhor Lagoon is being brought into full production for the benefit of residents of Ada and citizens of the entire nation,” he said.

Part of the concession

The commissioning saw the presence of the chiefs and people of the catchment area, who the President commended for their cooperation, having praised the Group Chairman of the McDan Group, Daniel McKorley, for his courage to invest in the salt mine industry.

The mine currently has the ability to produce some six hundred and fifty thousand metric tons of salt per annum, or about two million at full capacity.

According to the President, there was an opportunity for Ghana to tap into the salt market in Nigeria, which imports $2 billion worth of salt from Brazil.

“You can imagine the thoughts that were running through my mind. Think with me for a moment about the prospects of Ghana selling two billion dollars ($2 billion) worth of salt to Nigeria and the ripple effects the sale of such a simple commodity, which Nigeria and, indeed, many other countries in West Africa import from other continents, can have on our economy,” he added.

The President, who had toured the project site, was delighted at the expansions envisioned by the company in the near future.

President Akufo-Addo also took notice of the request by McDan in his speech, requesting the construction of some major road projects leading to the mine.

He assured that: “I will put these requests before the Minister for Roads and Highways and ensure that he does his best to construct the roads. I intend to take a personal interest in them.”

CAPACITY

The Group Chairman, known as McDan, indicated that this year the factory would produce 650,000 metric tonnes of salt, which would increase to one million in 2024, and two million in 2025.

He added that currently the site employed three thousand, with another three thousand in the Ada community, and was looking to employ seven thousand in total when at full capacity.

According to him, there will be the construction of a port to facilitate the transportation of the refined salt, which will employ about 700 people.

However, he requested that the government construct two roads that lead to the site. “We are asking the government to connect the Ada West to the Ada East so that when we do the salt, there is easy access to the port,” he said.

COMPENSATION

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, commended the chiefs and residents for their support for the project.

According to him, after engagement with relevant stakeholders “and the payment of compensation to qualified applicants,” Electrochem Ghana Limited has granted a 15-year restricted mining lease.

The Minister for Trades and Industry, Kwabena Tahir Hammond, noted that the operationalization of the Songor Lagoon depicted the quest of the government to make Ghana a hub of manufacturing and trade in selected products that anchor industrialization.

The Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Wamkele Mene, mentioned that the secretariat has an agreement with the McDan Group with regards to the salt mine.

The Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, commended the McDan Group for the investment and urged that the benefits be replicated in other parts of the traditional area.

He assured the company of collaboration to deploy an import substitution strategy “so that we stop importing salt from other parts of the world.”

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