Obuasi town seeks economic diversification as AngloGold relocates

The Obuasi mine, (photo by Reuters)
The Obuasi mine, (photo by Reuters)

The Obuasi Municipal Assembly has initiated actions to enlarge business activities and address the shortfall in revenue, after AngloGold Ashanti’s relocation to a new site impacted heavily on the Assembly’s finances.

The Assembly is seeking to get a university campus, wood village for exhibition of local products, lorry terminals with modern facilities, satellite markets and recreational centres, in a move to attract more investors.

“AngloGold Ashanti is moving to a new site and many of their workers have moved to settle outside the town, this affected the Assembly’s IGF [Internally Generated Funds] so we have to quickly do something to diversify the economy of Obuasi,” Municiapl Budget Officer, Mr Isaac Appiah Nsiah told the Ghana News Agency.

He said the Assembly depended heavily on the mineral royalties and the activities of the mining giant for its internal funds, but the company’s exit has led to the dwindling of the Assembly’s fund.

The Assembly’s total IGF reduced by GHȼ11,358.8 from GH¢2,055,066.39 in 2012 to GH¢2,043,707.59.

This, officials attributed to the non-release of mineral royalties which constitutes more than five per cent of the Assembly’s annual revenue budget.

In 2014, they said, out of the estimated IGF revenue of GH¢ 3,317,002.80, actual revenue as at June 30, 2014 was GH¢1,068,874.83 representing a performance of 32.22 per cent.

“This is due to the general slowdown of economic activities in Obuasi resulting from the retrenchment and footprint reduction exercise by AnloGold Ashanti, the major employer in the municipality,” the Assembly said.

The Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Richard Ofori-Agyemang Boadi said Obuasi has since been depending on mining and that given the “massive development going on” in the town and AngloGold’s shuffling off, a diversification of the area’s activities is required.

He said an ultra modern lorry park has been completed and is awaiting commissioning while another one is under consideration to lift up the town to a modern status.

He said a high court has also been built with accommodation provided for the judge, and upgrading of roads in that area would be completed by the end of the year.

“We are working on two lorry terminals, one has been completed already and one is yet to take place. For the completed one I am waiting for the President, President John Mahama to commission it, because this is a big project.

“Obuasi has never had a high court and within this short period we have one, there is massive development going on here;, a 3000 capacity dining hall and administration are ongoing at CKC…,” Mr Boadi said.

He also said the collaboration between the Assembly and the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology would help open up the area and attract businesses to enable the Assembly raise money to support development projects and raise living standards

Source: GNA

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