Sunday, 19 November 2017

Two Nzema communities fight over fertiliser, gas storage projects

From Zambaga Rufai SAMINU, Bonyere

TWO communities - one in the Nzema District and the other in the Jomoro District of the Western Region - are currently engaged in a fight over the siting of a fertiliser factory and gas storage project.

The fear that the project might be moved from the Bonyere community in the Nzema District to Beyin in the Jomoro District followed a recent statement by Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC ) of its commitment to establish a fertiliser factory and gas storage facilities in the Jomoro District, taking into account the suitability of the location of the project based on many factors, including the availability of litigation-free land, soil suitability, resource availability for commencement of work, among others.
The new development did, however, not go down well with the people of Bonyere, who insist that since the project had originally been earmarked for their community, it should remain there.
On the other hand, the people of Beyin welcome the change not only because GNCC finds their community more suitable but because it is timely and crucial to the development of the area.
In the heat of it all, one Nana Baah has petitioned President Akufo-Addo to look into the controversy surrounding the siting of the project.
He cautioned government against any move to relocate the project, noting that “any such action could result in confusion of disastrous consequences”.
Explaining the details, he said "Your Excellency, when the Ghana Gas Processing Plant project was first announced to the people of Bonyere and its environs, it was received with joy and positive hope by the people of Bonyere and the over 20 surrounding villages and towns.
“After compensation for crops and other traditional rights was done quickly in readiness for the birth of a great project, lo and behold, disaster struck. An artificial disaster created and manipulated by the strength and power of certain powerful political, traditional and financially sound individuals hit the project plan. It was wicked and selfish connivance by those personalities. They relocated the project to Atuabo in the Ellembelle District for their personal interest.
“Your Excellency, the former CEO, Dr Sipa Yankey, and his team frequently engaged the people in lots of meetings. He had, on technical and engineering grounds, made the people know there was no better place most economic and viable than the Bonyere enclave for the projects. These were evidenced therefore by the surveys and other engineering works quickly done to enable the projects’ take-off.
“Considering that bitter experience we went through, there is the need for President Akufo-Addo to critically look deep into the genesis of the Ghana Gas technical and engineering programme in its entirety as far as the processing plant, the siting of the storage facility and the fertilizer factory is concerned,” Nana Baah stressed, adding that the stakeholders should be able to scrutinise and subject people's personal interest to interrogation against the economic and general benefits of the majority of the masses.

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