Mining is harmful to Ghana’s economy – Dr Botchie

Dr George Botchie, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER), on Wednesday said the nominal benefit of open cast mining was estimated at $10.146 million as against the nominal cost of $15.525 million yielding a negative variance of $9.379 million.

“Mining, therefore, represents a great loss to the economy of Ghana,” he added.

Dr Botchie was speaking at the “13th Ghana Speaks Lecture Series 2011” organised by the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) in collaboration with the management of Joy FM, an Accra-based private radio station.

His topic was, “The land question and development” as he premised his talk on the fact that land was the bedrock of all development efforts in Ghana.

Dr Botchie explained that the inter-relationship between land and development was important, adding, conceptual and empirical framework could be established to analyze and explain the intricate dynamic and complex feedback relationship that existed between them.

He suggested that changes in the development process could trigger and drive changes in the customary and statutory land tenure systems to induce land uses such as agriculture, timber, industry, mining and urban land use.

Dr Botchie said agriculture, mining, timber exploitation and urban development were major contributory factors to environmental degradation in the country.

He noted that agricultural degradation alone cost the nation $88.5 million or 60 per cent of the total environmental degradation.

Dr Botchie said extensive urbanisation and encroachment of land had led to poorly planned housing settlement prone to floods, liquid waste disposal, land hunger and indiscipline in the land market.

He called for adequate support for the on-going Land Administration Project (LAP) and suggested that a policy should be initiated to incorporate green investment banking which had important values and advantages for sustainable land development in Ghana.

Dr Botchie said positive environmental externalities especially in agriculture should be pursued rigorously to sustain land and other social developments.

Source: GNA

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