The New Patriotic Party(NPP) Aspiring Member of Parliament(NPP) for the Odododiodio Constituency has dismissed assertions by the MP for the area, Nii Lantei Vanderpuye that the Mahama administration secured funding for the construction of the Jamestown Fishing Harbour Complex.
“It is not in doubt that the Jamestown Harbour project has been on the drawing board since 1965. Governments after governments have attempted to see it come to fruition with 5 different sod-cuttings by different governments but none has seen actual construction”, Nii Lante Bannerman who also doubles as the Chairman of the National Premix Fuel Committee.
According to him, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, on 28th May, 2018 signed an agreement with China’s Ambassador to Ghana, Sun Baohong for the construction of the US$60 million Jamestown Fishing Harbour Complex (JTFHC).
Per the agreement, the construction of the habour was expected to be carried out in three phases; dredging of about 118,000 cubic meters harbour basin and shipping channels; construction of hydraulic structures composed of berths of about 1,200 meters, seawall, a breakwater and the construction of administration, production and supporting facilities including a kindergarten, fish market and a processing area.
Per the facts above, he said it is therefore disingenuous for the MP to claim that the project is being implemented through a loan facility secured under the erstwhile Mills/Mahama administration, adding, the truth is that the project is being implemented under a grant facility arranged by the current Akufo-Addo led NPP administration from the Chinese government.
“It is a fact that Ghana received only US$600million as the first tranche of the US$3billion CDB loan facility that the Hon. MP alluded to. If indeed the Jamestown Harbour was captured in the second tranche which Ghana never received, then it goes to justify the fact that the efforts of the NDC to have the project started turned out to be a faux pas and that no funding was secured for the project”, he pointed out.
For the Hon. MP to also suggest that the initial designs and drawing of the project from 2011 should be maintained shows how outmoded and archaic his thoughts are, he added.
Mr. Bannerman also said “It is also preposterous for the MP to say that the demolition exercise at the site for the project was done without notices to the settlers there. I can recall a series of engagements at different levels that took place prior to the sod cutting by the President on 6th December, 2018.
The Accra Metropolitan Assembly AMA and the Ghana Canoe Fishermen Council organized a durbar in October and November 2018 at the Jamestown Beach to inform occupants about the project.
As a requirement by law he pointed out that notices were posted on the buildings in early November of the same year. Two weeks later, the AMA pulled many of the structures down to pave way for the sod cutting, he added.
As part of the consensus building, the Minister for Fisheries & Acquaculture, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye led a delegation with the Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah in November 2018, to call on the Chiefs of the Ga Traditional Council to explain the project and informed them about a necessary demolition to clear site.
Another delegation visited the Ngleshie Alata Traditional Council for same purpose. The support of the Chiefs, Wulomei, Fisher folk, youth and the entire GaMashie was visible in their testimonies during the sod cutting.
Mr. Bannerman said the AMA took the burden again in April, 2020 and wrote officially to remind unauthorized occupants on the project site including the Fishermen Council to remove their structures but that also fell on deaf ears.
He emphasised that the action of the AMA moving in to clear the site was necessary because the Chinese contractors have been in town for the past couple of months awaiting site clearing to pave way for the construction.
“It is instructive to note that the contractors are on site now working for the realization of the project. It is therefore untrue for the attention seeking MP to claim or even suggest that little or no engagement whatsoever was done”, he mentioned.