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Regional News of Wednesday, 26 August 2020


Nzema Chief appeals to Bawumia to fulfil Atuabo Freeport project

Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli

Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli, the Paramount Chief of Eastern Nzema, says Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, needs to fulfil his promise constructing the Atuabo Freeport.

According to him, the people of Nzema are still waiting for the Atuabo Freeport after investors were scared away by a lawsuit initiated by some five New Patriotic Party MPs in 2014.

The Vice President in 2018 at the celebration of the Kundum festival on Sunday, October 28, 2018, told the Chiefs and People of Nzema that the Akufo-Addo administration would construct the Atuabo Freeport.

Since then, the government has done little to make sure that the project comes into fruition.

“What the Vice President came to say is something that we look forward to. This was started a long time ago before this current administration and the hopes have been up and down,” Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli told Citi News on Tuesday. “We are still hoping because our resilience for the project is not ending. Of course, we don’t have the money to do it ourselves so we still depend on promises. However, we hope that whatever the Vice President said, he is working towards it. I believe that our leaders should keep their promises when they make them.”

Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli added, “In fact, it is something that we don’t know who will construct it now but I believe that whoever wins this election should make it a priority and make sure that this happens within a short term. Our people are always happy when we have politicians come to say that they would do the harbour. We don’t want it to be just a saying, but we want it done and we have reserved the land for it.”

Reacting to the Chief’s call, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, the MP for Ellembelle, said: “It is so painful that we are still talking about this Atuabo Freeport which could have easily created 5,000 jobs for the youth. But what happened is that we had Members of Parliament from the NPP side including the Western Regional Minister who is supposed to lead development in the Region going to court to oppose the project.”

Buah who was the Minister for Power under President John Mahama continued: “However, the excitement that I have is that I have spoken with former President John Mahama who is committed to this Atuabo Freeport. What he is saying is that, if we don’t do it, Ivory Coast [will] do it. We want to be the gateway for West Africa’s oil and gas sector,” he said.

The Parliament of Ghana initiated the Lonrho Atuabo Oil and Gas Services Freeport project after an agreement was passed to give Ghana 45 per cent ownership.

The Freeport was expected to be completed in 2017 in order to provide one-stop oil and gas services for petroleum exploration and production activities across the Gulf of Guinea, reduce the costs and end the difficulties of oil companies seeking services from far distances.

Five NPP MPs from the Western Region resisted the construction of the Atuabo oil and Gas Freeport project which was going to have a subsea fabrication base, logistics supply base, and an oil rig and vessel repair base.