The Chairman, National Premix Fuel Committee, Nii Lante Bannerman, has stated that the Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta signed a $60 million agreement with China’s Ambassador to Ghana, Sun Baohong on May 28, 2018 for the construction of the Jamestown Fishing Harbour Complex (JTFHC).
He said the project was being implemented under a grant facility arranged by the current Akufo-Addo led NPP administration from the Chinese government.
Nii Bannerman who was reacting to claims that the project was being implemented through a loan facility secured under the erstwhile Mills/Mahama administration explained that the project that had been on the drawing board since 1965 with many governments making unsuccessful attempts to build it was expected to be carried out in three phases.
He said the project involves the dredging of about 118,000 cubic meters harbour basin and shipping channels, construction of hydraulic structures composed of berths of about 1,200 meters, a seawall, a break water and the construction of administration, production and supporting facilities including a kindergarten, fish market and a processing area.
“It is a fact that Ghana received ONLY $600 million as the first tranche of the $3 billion CDB facility that the Hon. MP alluded to. If indeed the Jamestown Harbour was captured in the second tranche which Ghana never received, then it goes to justify the fact that the efforts of the NDC to have the project started turned out to be a faux pas and that NO funding was secured for the project,” he added.
Nii Bannerman said prior to the demolition exercise to make way for the commencement of the project, he recalled a series of engagements at different levels that took place prior to the sod cutting by the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on December 6, 2018.
He said the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and the Ghana Canoe Fishermen Council organized a durbar in October and November 2018 at the Jamestown Beach to inform occupants about the project and in accordance with the law notices were posted on the buildings in early November of the same year. Two weeks later, the AMA pulled the structures down to pave way for the sod cutting.
According to him, as part of the consensus building the Minister for Fisheries & Acquaculture, Ms Elizabeth Afoley Quaye led a delegation with the Mayor of Accra, Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah in November 2018, to call on the Chiefs of the Ga Traditional Council to explain the project and inform them about the necessary demolition to clear the site.
He said another delegation visited the Ngleshie Alata Traditional Council for same purpose and added that the support of the chiefs, wulomei, fisherfolk, youth and the entire Ga Mashie was visible in their testimonies during the sod cutting.
“Since then the Chinese consultants had been at the beach for further studies and wrap up while mobilization to site was ongoing. We must emphasize the fact that physical project construction delayed giving way for a handful of people to return to the site,” Nii Bannerman stated.
He explained that the AMA in April, 2020 wrote officially to remind all unauthorized occupants on the project site including the Ghana Canoe Fishermen Council to remove their structures but that also fell on deaf ears.
He said the AMA cleared the area because the Chinese contractors had been in town for the past couple of months awaiting site clearing to pave way for the construction and have started working, therefore it was untrue that little or no engagement was done.
“It is informative to note that the outbreak of the COVID-19 and subsequent restrictions such as lockdown caused the Minister for Transport to issue instructions of suspension of activities till the lockdown was lifted. This the AMA carried out to the letter,” Nii Bannerman stated.
He noted that work has commenced on the Salaga Market which had literally been left to rot for so many years, as well as the construction of an astro turf football park at Bukom and Mantse Agbonaa are also ongoing and will be completed within the next four months, ahead of schedule.
He expressed the hope that the completion of these projects will bring back the economic environment that the people of Ga Mashie flourished in in the past.
Nii Lante Vanderpuye, MP for Odododiodoo constituency which hosts the project, has lamented what he said was a lack of consultation on the part of the implementers, leading to hundreds of residents being rendered homeless after the demolition exercise.
Source: Daily Graphic
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