A group calling itself Committee of Concerned Citizens of Nzema Descent wants the 20,000 acres of land being acquired for the Petroleum Hub Development Corporation at Bonyere in the Jomoro District of the Western Region to be reduced to 5000 acres.
The group made the call in a petition signed by its Convener, Elizabeth Allua Vaah, and addressed to the Board Chairman of the Petroleum Hub Development Corporation, Awulae Annor Adjaye.
The group which is made up of various Nzema advocacy groups including the Nzema Koyele Eku and Nzema Advocacy for Peace and Development in the petition expressed misgivings over the large acres of land being acquired for the project saying it would deprive locals of their livelihoods.
Below are excerpts of the petition:
- Land size of 20,000 acres is overly large
- Loss of lands/rivers will deprive indigenes of farming and fishing
- Environmental degradation of lands and water bodies from spillages and petrochemical effluents and gases
- Lack of framework for relocation and resettlement of affected towns and households respectively
- Lack of details on financial settlements & compensations to landowners
- Loss of generational benefits, use, and value of land
- Lifetime and generational health impacts (respiratory) to indigenes, within and near Hub Enclave
- Silence of any earmarked financial benefits/royalties to Nzemamanle (from generated Revenue estimated at $1.5B to Ghana)
- Little involvement of, or consultation with Nzemas who are directly impacted
- No signs of training/skills development of indigenes for pulling into the petroleum industry.
The group further made some recommendations, as captured below:
- Scale down HUB enclave land size (5,000 Acres | 15.23 Sq. Km)
- Develop a framework for the release of hub lands only if required (by establishing major milestones and substantial completions of Hub facilities/projects triggers)
- Formation of a broad-based Nzema Stakeholders Assembly to comprise representatives from affected towns/villages and people of Nzema descent with various backgrounds (chiefs, fishermen, farmers, SMEs, Chiefs, technocrats) to liaise with Awulae and Jomoro constituents in seeking the long-term interests of Nzemamanle.
- Establish environmental controls and measures against petrochemical spillages, effluents, and harmful gases
- Establish a framework for relocation and resettlement of displaced villages/towns and households
Establish a fair and equitable financial settlements & compensations scheme for displaced landowners, farmers, and fishermen
- Establish generational benefit scheme for government-acquired farmlands and fishing water bodies
- Establish a framework and triggers for government-acquired land to be released to original landowners if project development is halted or suspended
- Establish a Social Development Fund / Royalty Payment Scheme for Jomoro in consideration of the fact that 90% of Hub Development will be privately owned (Basis for Govt’s Eminent Domain stake is only 10%)
- Establish an Infrastructural Development Masterplan that seamlessly integrates the Petroleum Hub enclave with towns/villages without any comparative degradation of capacity or utility
- Setup and immediately start a Skills and Technical Manpower Development program for Nzema indigenes at least 6 years before completion of 2nd Phase of Petroleum Hub
- Provide a framework for the establishment of an independent separate body with the power of prosecution of any government agent, agency and entity that knowingly fails to perform its roles or/and due diligence.“
The $60 billion Petroleum Development Petroleum Hub is expected to ensure the construction of four (4) Refineries each with 150,000 barrels per day capacity, two oil jetties, oil storage facilities, and tank farms.
The hub also proposes a Petrochemical Plant and Support Buildings with 90% private Investors and 10% government ownership.
Meanwhile, there is nothing visible so far on the grounds, except for the completed Environmental Impact Assessment.