Work on Boankra inland port to commence by August 8 – Ejisu MCE

After being abandoned for about two decades, the government says work is set to commence on the Boankra Inland Port by August 8, 2022.

The Municipal Chief Executive for Ejisu, Samuel Oduro Frimpong who disclosed this to Citi News said the project would be completed within two years.

Residents of Boankra in the early 2000s gave out their lands to the government to allow for the Boankra Inland Port project. But the expectations of the residents are yet to be met.

Several petitions to relevant authorities, press conferences and threats to embark on a demonstration exercise have not yielded the desired results.

Following recent calls by the residents in a Citi News interview where they threatened to embark on a massive demonstration if work does not commence on the project as early as possible, government has assured that work is set to begin on the project.

The Municipal Chief Executive for Ejisu, Samuel Oduro Frimpong told Citi News the contractor has already started mobilizing and is moving to site.

“I want to allay the fears of everybody, especially the indigenes of Boankra and Hwereso that this one (commencing work on the Boankra Inland Port project) is really something that we are going to do. Two years ago, the President and Otumfuo cut the sod for the project. I understand it was going to be done by a Korean company, but maybe they had difficulties with their financial issues. So, this one has been given to a local contractor. I am sure once you go there, you will see a sign by the 8th of August, they would be starting work there and there will be no turning back, so the residents must be rest assured indeed they have come to stay and to work for all of us. According to Mr. Isaac Affum, the CEO of the company that has been awarded the contract, he is going to use about four different contractors, and he’s been given two years to complete it. So, what it means is that, it would be completed before the next election”.

Ejisu MCE
For traditional leaders in Boankra, after several failed promises, they remain sceptical about government’s intentions of working on the project.

The Kontihene of Boankra, Nana Kofi Akosa Adumata says the traditional authorities fear working on the project is only for political gains as it may not be completed before the 2024 elections.

“I will never believe this government’s promise of constructing the inland port until I see actual work being done there. He brought the Asantehene here two years ago to cut sod and even brought three different contractors for works to begin on the project, but what did we see, just deception. So coming back after two years to talk about the same project is laughable. Until we see the progress of work, we are never going to believe anything about this Inland port again”.

The issue of compensation is a topic that inhabitants who gave out their lands to allow for the project say has not been critically looked at.

The Kontihene for the area says as the government is about to start the project, those who surrendered their lands should be well-compensated.

“For 21 years now, we have not been properly compensated. So it is very worrying that we just expect them to engage us on how best we can be appeased”.

Although some residents are excited about assurances of starting the project, they have also added their voices to the calls for them to be compensated.

“We were informed that work on the Inland port will begin soon and that authorities are looking for accommodation for the construction workers. So our appeal to the Ghana Shippers Authority is to ensure that those of us whose lands have been taken away from us, be given some form of compensation. We will appreciate any little amount given to us. For over 21 years, if by the grace of God the project is about to see the light of the day, the government should please ensure that we are compensated. We shouldn’t be taken for granted because we are poor people,” Baffour Afranie Okese, chairman of Boankra Inland Port Landowners Association, lamented.

“I am excited that they are commencing work on the project. It will create job opportunities for our children. I am not well, but I can sell water there once it is operational. That can help sustain me. We are appealing to authorities to work on it and shouldn’t start and abandon it later on,” Mary Owusu, a resident, stated.

The Municipal Chief Executive for Ejisu, Samuel Oduro Frimpong is assuring that the project would be completed in two years’ time.

He said it will help open up the area and will create job opportunities for the inhabitants in the area.

“When we met them (the contractors) two weeks ago, it was my first appeal that all the labour works 90% should come from the locality. Again, the honourable member for the area asked him to get accommodation for the construction workers so, in all, they can only get accommodation from the area so, they will benefit a lot from the project. This will help develop the area. That is why it is very dear to the heart of everybody. A lot of our youth will get employment opportunities. It is going to open up Ejisu. So, Ejisu is going to be the Tema of the Ashanti Region”.

The Municipal Chief Executive for Ejisu said all persons who deserve to be compensated would be well-catered for.

“I’ve been told by my assembly member for the area that most people were compensated. But if others are still complaining, what we need to do is to get in touch with the Omanhene, Nana Afranie Okese IV. I am sure he would be in a better position to know whether the people were compensated for their lands or not. Once I found that that is the case and indeed some of them have not been compensated, and I talk to him, and he shows me the way, then we would be able to talk to the people on what we should do for them”.

Source: citinews


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