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31.05.2009 Business & Finance

Western chiefs freeze land sale

By myjoyonline
A community market in Takoridi in the Western Region.
LISTEN MAY 31, 2009
A community market in Takoridi in the Western Region.

Chiefs in communities close to oil fields in the Central Region have ordered a freeze on the sale of parcels of land in the area to cease.

The Western Nzema Traditional Council is leading the crusade to ensure that lands in the area are used as equity in any commercial project in the area.

The president of the traditional council Awulae Annor Adjaye told Joy News the move is to ensure that indigents do not agitate to have their lands returned to them after a sale.

He hinted that the traditional council is following a normal practice which is common in areas rich in resources such as precious minerals and timber.

While some communities in the Western Region claim they are not being treated fairly by companies extracting timber from their forests, firms in mining areas such as Prestea and Obuase are spending billions of dollars to protect their concessions from illegal miners.

Awulae Annor Adjaye said government must use all available resources to ensure that oil-fanned disturbances in countries such as Nigeria are not replicated in the country.

Ghana would soon join the ranks of oil-producing countries in Africa.

Already Tullow Oil, one of the oil companies with concessions in the Western Region, has hinted that its Jubilee development is on track to produce oil in the second half of 2010.

Although the project is located in deep water some 60 kilometers from off the coast, the communities believe land at shore is critical and must be handled with a lot of care.

The project will produce crude oil, generating foreign exchange income for the country and is expected to substitute expenditures for oil imports.

It will also boost government revenues against the backdrop of the global economic downturn which resulted in a substantial cut in the 2009 budget.

Story by Fiifi Koomson/Joy News

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