Petroleum Hub Dev’t: West Nzema farmers want proper compensation

The Nzema Petroleum Hub Committee says it is gravely concerned that the Petroleum Hub Committee is taking over 20,000 acres of prime Nzema land covering all the places where the towns get their food and for future expansion.

It wants government to revise this decision among others so the indigenes are not overly shortchanged.

The Petroleum Hub Development is intended to be a leading integrated petroleum complex created to add value to the upstream and downstream oil and gas value chain in Africa.

Upon completion, the project is expected to span over an area of 20,000 acres and will house a complex web of onshore, offshore and ancillary assets not limited to refineries, petrochemical plants and storage tanks intended to change the face of the petrochemical industry on the continent.

Speaking on the sidelines of a stakeholder engagement forum of the Petroleum Hub Development Corporation, the youth indicated that though they are happy about the project, they are calling for the right things to be done so the indigenes are not shortchanged.

Coconut farming is a mainstay for many residents of Jomoro Municipality in the Western Nzema Traditional Area in the Western Region.

The farms are handed over from generation to generation.

Among others, they asked why government would consider acquiring such an expansive land size through compulsory acquisition without thorough negotiation with all key stakeholders and why government would use compulsory acquisition to acquire private lands for a majority private project.

They are also wondering why the secrecy surrounding the land acquisition, and the state of things currently regarding the acquisition.

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The Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) lists as one of its risks “Unrealistic expectations of the locals”.

The Nzema youth want to know why the expectations of the locals are being described as “unrealistic” and why they should give up their land for a $60-billion project without expecting world class roads, guaranteed employment, free healthcare, referral hospital, safe and good quality housing, education etc.

Meanwhile, the CEO of the Petroleum Hub Development Corporation, Charles Owusu, says the compensation package is almost ready.

“As we speak now, compensation is almost done, but awaiting the E.I, then a full report will be given from the Lands Commission,” he stated.

By Ewurama Smith|Connect FM||Ghana


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