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21.08.2004 Business & Finance

Estate Developer assures clients of protection of their investments

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Gomoa Nyanyano (C/R), Aug. 21, GNA - The Management of 21st Century Estate Development Limited has assured its clients of the protection of their investments and is doing everything possible to resolve the rumpus concerning its acquisition of land at Gomoa Nyanyano in the Central Region.

Mr Kofi Asmah, Managing Director of the Company said this after a Press Conference to appraise the media on the relationship between the company and the Gomoa Nyanyano Traditional Council concerning the acquisition and development of the said lands.

He said the impasse is temporary and he assured them that, with the Government's stand on the ban on activities of land guards, he would re-enter into negotiations to resolve the differences between the Company and the Traditional Council for the company to resume its activities.

Mr Asmah, whose press statement was read by his General Manager and solicitor, Mr Emmanuel Edward Appiah-Kubby said the company entered into an agreement with the Gomoa Nyanyano Traditional Council for the allocation of 2000 acres at Nyanyano for estate development in 1997. The terms of the agreement signed with the Chief of Gomoa Nyanyano, Nana Obeng Wiabo V, was with the promise that the company will in turn provide a standard senior secondary school to the community as well as the payment of 250 million cedis for the documents and leases on the acquired lands.

Mr Appiah-Kubi said in about three months, the Chief and his elders granted and signed the lease to the company of 810 acres, however, when the company requested for the land to be located and demarcated for the construction of the school project, it was found out that, the same land had been granted to another person.

He said the company however, kept on paying monies in excess of the agreed terms to the Chief and it came to light that, whilst the company was strictly abiding by the terms of the agreement, the chief sought in various ways to frustrate the efforts of the company by taking over parts of the lands already granted.

The Chief and his elders continued to withhold the consent to grant land to institutions, which have bought land from the company for real estate development and have been preventing the preparation of land, construction of roads and other services within the area granted to the company.

Mr Appiah-Kubi said after several meetings between the Chief and his elders and representatives of the company, the intervention of a solicitor known to both sides, a supplementary agreement was signed in February 2003 to take into account certain concerns and problems encountered by all the parties regarding the original agreement.

He said 14 clauses were added to the original agreement with sections 11 and 14 setting out the mode of settlement of disputes or disagreements that might arise in the course of the performance of the obligations of the Stool and Company.

The first form of dispute settlement is by amicable settlement and if that fails then arbitration shall be resorted to, however, any of the parties may go to court for resolution of any dispute if such arbitration fails.

The General Manager said in spite of these provisions, and in total disregard for the Criminal Laws of the country, Nana Wiabo engaged the services of land guards who attacked and shot workers of the Company. He said the sad aspect of the impasse was that, the Company's workers were not even on Gomoa Nyanyano Stool lands but they were working on Gomoa Fetteh Stool Lands when the agents of Nana Wiabo attacked them.

Mr Asmah welcomed the call by the Chief of Gomoa Nyanyano, Nana Wiabo for the setting up of the committee to go into the matters of the lands to settle the impasse that is delaying the take-off of the project.

He said the Company was ready to start work and it is now for the Chief and his elders to allocate and demarcate the land for the construction of the school and also to stop the sale of the already allocated land and to release the remaining acres of land as agreed upon.

A visit to the allocated lands saw various encroachments with individuals busily putting up their houses within and near the site of the teacher's housing project, the site for the military as well as that of the Customs, Excise and Preventive Services.

It would be recalled that last week, the Chief of Gomoa Nyanyano, Nana Wiabo held a press conference at which he accused Mr Asmah and his Company of reneging on the terms of an agreement for the allocation of Stools lands for estate development.

Nana Wiabo called for Government's intervention and setting up of a Committee to look into the impasse to protect the lands of the Gomoa Nyanayano and accused the Company of harassing the people and denying them the use of their lands by influencing decisions of people of authority in his favour.

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