By: Franklin ASARE-DONKOH
Government’s announcement of establishing an automotive hub at Afienya may not receive the blessings of the Chiefs and people due to what they described as government’s disrespect to traditional and local authority.
The Greater Accra Regional Minister not long ago announced an establishment of a West African Automotive Hub in Ghana to be sited at Afienya in the Ningo Prampram district of the Greater Accra region. The project would include the relocation of the spare parts dealers at Abossey Okai to Afienya.
Speaking in an interview with Gbcghanaonline.com, the Chief of Afienya, Nene Tetteh Afutu III said he and his subjects cannot take the government seriously because they have never been engaged on such a project that is supposed to come on their land.
According to them, the government through the ministry of trade or the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating led by the Regional Minister, Mr. Henry Quartey, have failed to consult them about the project being established on their land.
The Chief of Afienya noted that even though the project is a laudable one, the government may fail if proper stakeholder engagements and consultations are not done.
Even though the Minister did not attach timelines, many believe the project is starting soon.
He revealed that the land where the project is going to be sited is being contested by the traditional authorities who are asking for the release of the land which they say the government has acquired without compensation. It is for this reason he noted the government cannot just build a project of such nature without consulting the Chiefs.
Meanwhile, the Assemblyman for the Afienya Electoral area, in Ningo-Prampram Municipality, Habib Mohammed, collaborating with the chief’s claims, hinted that the assembly has also not been engaged on the project.
According to him there is the need for broader consultation if the project must succeed.
The Afienya Dangme Muslim Chief, Alhaji Abubakar Afutu also share the same concern on the need for proper community and stakeholder’s engagement even though the project according to him is a laudable one.
For him, education of the youth is critical in ensuring that such an automotive project benefits the youth.
He is therefore calling on the government to establish Secondary and Tertiary education institutions in the area to prepare the youth for such opportunities.
Aside from these land issues, a group calling itself “National Concerned Spare Parts Dealers Association” at a press conference held last Tuesday 10th May, 2022 threatened they will resist any attempt by the government to relocate them to Afienya.