The Paramount Chief of Eastern Nzema Traditional Council in the Western Region, Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli III has reminded President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to build the delayed Atuabo Freeport in the Ellembelle District in the region.
On Sunday, October 28, 2018, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia at the climax of the 2018 Kundum festival at Atuabo, assured the Chiefs and people of Ellembelle that he was going to look for an investor to continue the establishment of the Atuabo Freeport.
But, almost two years after the Vice President’s assurance, nothing has been done about the project.
The Atuabo Freeport is a topmost priority for the good people of Ellembelle District.
Addressing the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, August 18, 2020, at Teleku-Bokazo lorry park, the Paramount Chief of Eastern Nzema Traditional Council, Awulae Amihere Kpanyinli III said the Council has been talking about the Atuabo Freeport establishment and also has been appealing for it to be done.
“Around here, we’ve always been talking about Atuabo harbour and I know you (President Akufo-Addo) have been hearing us talking about it,” the Paramount Chief stated.
He, therefore, took the opportunity, to appeal again to President Akufo-Addo to as a matter of priority establish the delayed Atuabo Freeport to provide job opportunities for indigenes in and around Ellembelle District.
“Please help us get it (Atuabo Freeport) off the ground. I know your government is strong enough to do it. It could bring opportunities, economic growth and help our employment issues,” he urged.
The Paramount Chief on behalf of the good people of Ellembelle District appealed to President Akufo-Addo to introduce a Community Mining Programme in the area to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youth and also replace the galamsey activities in the area.
Some teeming unemployed youth in Ellembelle District have been engaging Galamsey activities at Nkroful, Teleku-Bokazo and Anwia since 2019 despite the ban on illegal mining (galamsey) and as a result, water bodies in the Ellembelle District have been devastated beyond recognition.
“This is a wish from the Community Miners, so as you are here, we just want to whisper it to your ears that you help us quickly if you will establish the Community Mining or you will have the opportunity to do that”, he said.
He ended his speech by appealing to President Akufo-Addo to build a District Hospital for the good people of Ellembelle District.
The Chief said since the President had promised to establish 88 District Hospitals for the Districts without hospitals in the country, Ellembelle District should be considered.
“It is also reminded that District Hospitals are going on in some places since you are here (Ellembelle District), we will ask you to add onto your list, the District Hospitals and give us one. We are thankful for your time and we also thank you for this road (Nkroful road) will be done on time”, he concluded.
In July 2014, Parliament approved an agreement between the Government of Ghana and British company Lonrho Ports for the development of an oil and gas free port at Atuabo.
The US$700 million Atuabo Freeport project was expected to be operational in 2017 and serve as a regional hub in promoting safe and efficient offshore businesses but this did not materialize.
Some five NPP Members of Parliament (MPs) took the project to court in 2015 and delayed it till February 2017 the Cape Coast Appeal Court ruled against the five MPs but since then the Lonhro company had shown no interest in the construction of the Atuabo Freeport.