Chief Warns Detractors
… Over Moves to Influence Farmers Against Industrialisation
By J. Ato Kobbie, Back from Beyin
The Paramount Chief of the Western Nzema Traditional Area, Awulae Annor Adjaye III, has warned persons influencing farmers in the area against moves to acquire lands for Gas Development and related projects planned for the area, to steer off that or risk exposure, emphasizing that the region was ready to become the industrial hub of West Africa.
"This is going to be the industrial hub for West Africa," he declared, adding, "our focus should be on how to beef up security!"
Awulae Annor Adjaye III, made this declaration when a delegation from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Volta River Authority (VRA), the Jomoro District Chief Executive and the Ministry of Energy, led by Deputy Minister for Energy (Petroleum) Mr. Emmanuel Kofi-Armah Buah, called on him at his Palace last Friday.
The Awulae, who was speaking after hearing from the delegation as well as the chief of Bonyere and Tufuhene of Takinta areas, which two towns were involved in a border dispute, called on Nzemas to rally together and see the projects being brought to the area as the way forward.
He recounted his role in earlier attempts to bring power projects to the area, which culminated in his participation in the naming of the ‘Osagyefo’ Power Barge in Italy.
He said it was only a few people who were formenting trouble and involved in what he described as the "pull him down (PhD)’ syndrome and that the majority of the people welcomed the projects being presented to them.
Awulae cautioned the people against such persons who would not contribute to the development of the people and wondered why anybody would kick against industrialization, which would create massive employment but would want them to be only content with subsistence farming.
"I know them and I’ll expose them," he threatened, asking rhetorically: Where in Accra do you see people with hoes?"
"We are preparing a way for you and posterity," he assured the youth, adding that there was advanced technology which provided the stakeholders with the option of resorting to the use of a floating, processing, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel to process the gas offshore.
"You are playing with fire and with your own future. You can’t be cultivating coconut and cassava forever," Awulae told the youth, advising them: "Organise yourselves against the enemies of progress because the gas development was for the whole country."
"Whether you like it or not, the project will move forward because the benefits are so much," he stressed to the applause of the gathering.
He advised the people not to allow themselves to be deceived because some of those who were encouraging them not to allow their lands to be released for these laudable projects would be the first to send long curriculum vitae (CVs).
He asked those who were likely to be affected by the land demarcation exercise, during which a few crops would be cut to facilitate measurement, to exercise restraint, because it was only after land demarcation and owners identified that compensation could be paid appropriately to those who deserved it.
Awulae Annor Adjaye III regretted publications by a newspaper called The Lead, which were posted on ghanaweb, saying those baseless stories undermined investor confidence in the area.
He cautioned the youth not to allow themselves to be misled.
On a purported chieftaincy dispute in the Bonyere area, the place for siting the gas processing and power plants for petrochemical industries for the western region, Awulae Annor Adjaye said as far as the Traditional area was concerned Nana Nyameke III was the chief and there were appropriate law reports to confirm that, but acknowledged that there was a problem with his Gazetting, which was still outstanding and also a contender to the stool.
Before Awulae Annor Adjaye’s intervention, Deputy Minister for Energy (Petroleum), Mr. Buah narrated various levels of consultations that had gone on, following a decision to establish a gas processing plant in the area to add value to the gas from the Jubilee Oil field, to create job opportunities in the area.
He regretted misinformation being peddled on the internet and told the gathering that after feasibility studies were conducted, the experts settled on Bonyere, in Beyin based on purely technical reasons.
He said in spite of the Western region’s enormous natural resource endowments, it lacked developmental projects and that the industrial complex that would commence with the establishment of the gas processing plant was likely to be the starting point for a change in the area’s fortunes.
He said the president has emphasized the pivotal role of the gas development project to Ghana’s industrialization and called on the people to be wary of the activities of some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who may raise red herrings that could unnecessarily delay the project.
On his part, Mr. Nyanyi Kablan-Victor, the Jomoro District Chief Executive (DCE) also regretted misinformation being peddled about the land identification and demarcation.
Nana Nyameke Annor III of Bonyere acknowledged approaches made to him by officials of GNPC and others in relation to the land acquisition for the gas processing site and gave his blessings to the project.
When given the floor to speak, Albert Terbah Mensah, Tufuhene of Takinta, informed the gathering that the stool of the area was initially left out in the consultations. He told the gathering that both the DCE and Hon. Buah subsequently informed them and so they were eager for the project to commence.
The Tufuhene requested however, that an area which was the subject of a border dispute with Bonyere be shaded on the map which has been drawn for the target area.
The four main settlements around the gas enclave are Bonyere, Ndumsuazo, Kabenlasuazo (Old and New) and Egbazo, with Takinta lying northwest of the enclave. The hamlet within the enclave is Bokakole, whilst the adjoining Lagoon to the area is called Domunli.
As part of the industrial complex being envisaged for the area, a 230Megawatt VRA Power Plant lying idle at Kpone, is to be relocated to the identified gas processing area to be fired by gas from the Jubilee Field.
Apart from the Gas Processing plant, a petrochemical plant and GRIDCO Sub-station are to be located in the area.
The visiting delegation also included: Mr. Victor Sunnu-Atta, Chief Petroleum Engineer, Mr. Lawrence Kwaw Sam, Principal Audit Officer, Mr. Yaw Ackonor, Geomatic Engineer and Mr. Gameli Kormla Agboada, Assistant Geomatic Engineer, all of GNPC, and Mr. Emmanuel Martey, Estate Manager of VRA.