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24.08.2004 Business & Finance

Government, Stool agree terms on BOPP land dispute

By GNA

Accra, Aug. 24, GNA - The off-loading of Government's shares in the Benso Oil Palm Plantation Limited (BOPP) on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) could now proceed following an agreement on the terms of compensation to be paid to the landowners.

The Adum Banso Stool, the owners of the land, took the Government to court on the grounds that adequate compensation had not been paid in respect of the land.

The Government's decision to off-load its interest in BOPP on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) was held abeyance because of a suit the Landowners filed at the High Court.

A statement signed by Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, on Tuesday said: "The Government is happy to announce that it has successfully negotiated a settlement with the Adum Banso Stool and other interest holders of the acquired land and that both parties have agreed to bring the case in court to an end."

"The parties further agreed that with the settlement, the Government's decision to off-load its interest in BOPP on the Stock Exchange is to proceed without any hindrance," Mr Osafo-Maafo said. The Government a few weeks ago announced its decision to off-load its shares in BOPP on the GSE for Ghanaians to acquire equity shares in the Company.

However, the launch of the share offer on June 16 2004 triggered protests from the Adum Banso Stool from which the Government acquired the land by Executive Instruments in 1976 and 1977.

The Stool and Elders subsequently filed a suit at the High Court against the Government on the grounds that adequate compensation had not been paid in respect of the acquisition.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning in a statement to Parliament conceded that full compensation had not been paid on all claims and expressed the determination of the Government to resolve the matter in a peaceful and prompt manner.

Mr Osafo-Maafo said the Government and Stool subsequently decided to settle the matter out of court and entered into prompt negotiations.

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