www.padfm.com.gh / Savannah region, Damongo.
The attention of the Savannah Regional Minister has been drawn to a press statement issued by the Damongo Constituency NDC Communication Outfit which borders on the above subject matter.
In as much as the minister encourages effective participation in governance especially at the local level, he equally would like to admonish all participants in this process to be circumspect in personalizing the conversation and ultimately misleading the public just for partisan political gains. To this, the office notes that the press statement is not only factually inaccurate but misleading, largely concocted, mischievously embellished with lies to achieve a political end and therefore should be treated with the contempt it deserves.
To begin with, Savannah Region is one of the newly created 6 regions by the Nana Addo led NPP government. As a new region, all stakeholders are enjoined to invest and to attract the needed investments to propel economic and social development across all levels. So it is refreshing to note that out of the good works of the Regional Coordinating Council which the Minister leads, more investors are expressing interest in the region and some have started investing which is why we are having this conversation. We, by this rejoinder wish to assure all prospective investors of a stable, peaceful and business friendly region to invest, and they are most welcome.
In the course administering, the minister as a leader of the region has been overwhelmed with complaints from some department heads who are given government coupons from Goil to run their respective departments. All these departments are unable to service these coupons because of the unavailability of Goil. We wish to call on more investors in this sector to come to the region to invest in this regard.
On the substantive issue about the said land, the minister genuinely acquired it as a private citizen even before his appointment as a District Chief Executive in 2017. So, it is untrue that the minister is using his office to evict some artisans and others from that land.
Again, the Municipal Assembly has successfully put up an artisan village and all artisans are being moved to this village in order to get the regional capital well planned for future development. So, the gradual evacuation is in line with an existing arrangement to get these artisans and others finally moved to their planned village for effective and coordinated operations.
On the particular issue of evacuating Ibrahim Jimah (Keshinten Bofe), let me put on record that Mr Jimah is occupying Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) land. His evacuation is therefore upon a request by the GHA for him to move so they can start developing as soon as practicable. It is also worthy to note that, it took the Hon Minister as an MCE of the West Gonja Municipal Assembly to intervene for Mr Jimah a couple of times when the GHA gave him similar notices in the past.
Petrosol is a well known player in the downstream petroleum industry. The company explored the potentials of the region and ultimately expressed interest in operating a service station in the region. The managers privately contacted the minister for a land and appropriate licensing regimes for their investment. The minister who has this land and passionate about development opted to lease it to Petrosol if it meets the standards of all regulatory regimes.
Interestingly, the statement issued by the NDC communication outfit admitted in part that the NPA has given express approval after doing all their assessments. Contained in the said statement is the NPA construction permit-NPA/IML/OMC/86/14. The West Gonja Municipal Assembly equally approved of the construction and has issued a permit in this regard with a permit number-WGMA/AT/FS/2011. So, the construction is legal, reasonable and appropriate as per the approvals from the NPA and the Municipal Assembly.
The claim that the said station is located close to Jakpa JHS is founded on a weak premise and targeting the personality of the Minister and his office. In the first place, the station is not for the minister, and he doesn’t have a say in the operations of the NPA to have determined the standards to apply in approving the setting up of this service station.
If these were the standards, then the current Dukes fuel station which is just an inch away from the West Gonja Municipal Police Station and directly opposite the VRA offices and shares walls with residential properties, won’t qualify for a fuel station in Damongo. Also, the Santol fuel station is equally situated in the heart of town and close to the St Charles Guest House and other residential properties. What about Zen fuel station which is in the centre of Damongo sharing boundaries with residential apartments, the Ghana Commercial Bank, NHIS offices, among others?
Note that the NPA and other regulatory bodies are clothed with the power and professional competences to asssess, approve and give permits to Oil Marketing Companies to operate, and so, all the above fuel stations have invariably met the standards hence, their operations over time. It is not for the ordinary, unprofessional eyes to determine the standards these state regulatory agencies employ in exacting their regulatory duties.
Lastly, the Minister urges all to disregard the content of the politically motivated statement from the NDC. He also wants to use this opportunity to invite all investors to the region in order to create sustainable jobs and ultimate overall development of the region.
Abu Mohammed Lansani
( P. A to the Savannah Regional Minister)
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