Businesses and residents around the Boankra Inland Port Project in the Ejisu Municipality of the Ashanti Region have appealed to the overlord of Ashanti Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, to as a matter of urgency intervene in the total neglect of the Boankra Inland Port project.
Business owners who ply their activities close to the Inland Port Project say delay in the commencement of the project has taken toll on their livelihoods.
The business owner, who are mainly artisans, steel benders, rice millers, fuel station operators, grocery shop operators, drivers and farmers, explain they have lost hope in the government but their only sustaining hope is Asantehene.
They explained since Otumfuo came to Boankra with the president to cut sod for the project to come back to life, they are appealing to him to advise the president to ensure swift processes for contractors to return to site.
“All we know is that our King is very powerful so he can order the president to fulfill his promise,” a trader told Akoma FM.
“We believe that if the Boankra project comes to life, it will affect our businesses and livelihoods here at Boankra and nearby communities so we need this Inland Port project badly than anything.”
The situation has become topical following sections of residents of Boankra expressing worry as they describe the project as a white elephant.
The over $400 million project, which sits on a 100-hectare land, was initiated by former President John Agyekum Kufuor and stalled for over ten years after change of government.
On November 5, 2020, President Nana Akufo-Addo together with Otumfuo Osei Tutu II cut the sod for resumption of work on the project, a development which according to residents of Boankra, was a long awaited intervention which they warmly welcomed.
Almost two years after the sod cutting, as part of production for Akoma FM’s monologue segment dubbed ‘Mr President’, the news team visited the project site to ascertain the situation and also engage residents on what they make of the state of the Boankra Inland Port project. Those who interacted with the news team seemed disappointed and worried.
“When Nana Addo came to cut the sod we were very happy and we thought our worries were over but we have waited for almost 2 years and there has been no changes, the same old situation persists and it is very disappointing,” Isaac Botwey, resident of nearby Kubease, told the team.
Another resident of Boankra, Isaiah Tetteh, a farmer and driver, explained that “my family farmland was confiscated as part of the 1,000-hectare land sited for the project, now we don’t have farmlands to cultivate food for our families so if they are not ready to commence the Boankra project, then they must release our lands to us so we can farm for our families because we are starving”.
The residents and businesses at Boankra say though they don’t trust politicians, they believed in the move by the president when they realize Otumfuo’s presence at the sod-cutting ceremony hence their appeal to the King to intervene.
By Nana Asenso Mensah|Akoma FM|3news.com|Ghana