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General News of Wednesday, 18 October 2017


Ghana Gas yet to compensate for Atuabo lands

The Ghana National Gas Company (Ghana Gas) is yet to pay compensation to landowners and farmers in its operational areas due to litigation over the rightful owners of the affected land.

This is in spite of the Lands Valuation Division of the Lands Commission completing the necessary valuation of the land, and the Ghana Gas setting aside funds to compensate the landowners.

The Regional Head of the Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission, Mr Seth Boakye Owusu, made this known in response to accusations by the chiefs and people in the affected communities that Ghana Gas had not compensated them since it entered the land.

This was at the sixth public session of the Citizen Advisory Council of Western Regional Coastal Foundation in Takoradi on Tuesday.

Resolve differences

Mr Owusu said the failure to submit a litigation-free claim of land was delaying the payment of the compensation.

He acknowledged the sentiments of the aggrieved ‘landowners’ and those whose crops were affected.

The publication

Mr Owusu explained that after the valuation was completed for the purposes of compensation, there were publications in August and September 2014 for claimants of the land to file for compensation.

The publications and invitations, he stated, saw a “tsunami” of conflicts, while others were affected by statutory timelines.

Mr Owusu said the payment of compensation could only be done devoid of conflict.

“On the 111-kilometre pipeline occupying 910 acres of land, there were 35 claimants out of which 19 out of the number were within time and the remaining 16 claimants were statutorily barred,’’ he said.

Another interesting thing, he stated about the claims within time, was that, 18 out of the 19 were saddled with conflicts as many factions claimed ownership of the same space.

Mr Owusu said Ghana Gas had indicated that it had set aside funds and was ready to pay the rightful claimants.

Ghana Gas

When contacted, officials of Ghana Gas said the company had initiated processes to engage the project-affected communities and people who needed to be compensated.

The Senior Manager, Government Relations, Ms Augustina Asare Osei, said a team headed by its Chief Executive, Dr Ben Asante, had engaged the Executive Secretary of the Lands Commission, Dr Wilfred K. Anim-Odame, and his team in their effort to resolve the pending compensation issues.

“Thus, we are working closely with the Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission to quickly resolve all outstanding compensation packages for the project affected people and the communities,” she said.