Thursday, 16 February 2012

Nzema chiefs angry over gas plant

THE CHIEFS and people of Western Nzema Traditional Area have expressed regret that the alleged relocation of the proposed Gas Processing Plant (GPP) project from Domunli, near Bonyere in the Jomoro district to Atuabo in the Ellembelle district, is being spearheaded by two persons they loved and trusted.

The Member of Parliament for Ellembelle, Emmanuel Kofi Armah Buah and the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC), Dr. Sipah Yankey, have been accused by the people of Western Nzema for allegedly scheming to have the project transferred from the Jomoro district to the Ellembelle constituency because they are natives of Ellembelle.
The Omanhene of Western Nzema Traditional Area, Awulae Annor Adjaye III, and the people from the area who are fuming, have called on Dr. Sipah Yankey and Armah Kofi Buah to make sure they restore all the coconut and other trees that were cut down on the 18.9 sq. km land at Domunli in the Jomoro district, which was given to the government for the project.

The gas processing facility, which is estimated to cost $1.2billion, is expected to produce 300 million cubic feet of gas per day and create as many as 5,000 jobs for indigenes.

Addressing a press conference to vent his spleen on the two prominent personalities of Nzema, Awulae Adjaye indicated that in 2009, the Ghana National Petroleum Company (GNPC) engaged experts to study the soil and land suitability in the area for the project.

He noted that after studying the land suitability for some time, the experts finally settled on Domunli, after which GNPC approached the chiefs for land for the project and the chiefs allocated a land size of 18.9 sq. km.

The Awulae mentioned that over 300 coconut trees and other cash crops belonging to the people on the land were therefore destroyed to give way for the project to take off without the initial compensation arrangement.

“In all these, the GNPC kept on promising the people of Jomoro of the take-off of the project in 2012 so it was therefore surprising when the newly-appointed CEO of the GNGC, Dr. Yankey, spilled the rumour in the various media that the project would be relocated to the Ellembelle district,” he added.

He pointed out that the Atuabo enclave where the project was allegedly being relocated to, was a perennial flood-prone area and that it would cost the nation more money to use tailings to fill every 1 sq. km to a height of about 1 metre to enable the project to be sited there.

“We strongly believe that Dr. Sipa Yankey and Hon. Armah Buah are greedily motivated by the fact that they have had access to the Subsidiary Loan Agreement and have full knowledge of the benefits that the catchment area stands to gain,” he alleged.

“We therefore find the whole relocation attempts as personal and parochial interest motivated other than technical and economic considerations,” he noted.

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