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27.03.2009 Regional News

Director to probe sale of stma lands

By Alfred Adams Takoradi - Ghanaian Chronicle

THE Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) is to commence a full scale investigation to ascertain the rationale behind the wanton release and sale of the Assembly lands to private individuals.

The Metropolitan Coordinating Director, Mr. Clement Danduri, who disclosed this to The Chronicle in a telephone interview, noted that as Coordinating Director of the Assembly, he was unaware of the circumstance that led to the sale of the land to private individuals, hence his decision to investigate it.

Assembly lands at Apremdo, Kojokrom and Takoradi have all found their way into private hands without any due process. The sale of the land reportedly started in January this year.

The Apremdo land in particular, is believed to have been released to a well known company early this year and it is to be used for a giant warehouse and a Cold Store. The release of the said land has attracted the wrath of the elected Assembly members who are calling for the return of the land from the hands of the private developer.

According to them, the release of the land to the private developer should have been approved by the Assembly, but which did not happen. 'We have the right to protect Assembly lands and we will not sit down for an individual to take the whole assembly for a ride. We will go to every length to ensure that the land is released back to the Assembly', one of the assembly members told The Chronicle.

The Public Relations Officer of STMA, Mr. John Laste had earlier justified that the Assembly has the right to release its lands to private individuals for projects that fall within the Assembly plans.

Mr. John Laste noted that the Assembly has entered into an agreement with individuals for the use of the land for some specific period of time under Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement.

Asked if the entire assembly approved the deal, especially the Apremdo one, Laste responded in the negative. He however said the Technical Committee of the Assembly inspected the site, vetted it and made recommendations to the Statutory Committee who approved it.