Ghana Gas Pays GH˘70,000 Compensation

The Ghana National Gas Company Limited has started compensating about 166 farmers whose crops were affected by the activities of the company in the Jomoro District of the Western region. The compensation, amounting to GH˘70,000, is being given to farmers whose crops, including cassava, coconut, oil palm and mango, were cut down during boundary demarcation and topographic survey in the Domunli enclave in the Jomoro District to make way for the construction of a gas processing plant and petrol chemical companies. The Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission carried out the crop enumeration and evaluation exercise and submitted its report to the Ghana Gas Company Limited. The Domunli enclave was originally earmarked to host the gas processing plant for converting natural gas from the Jubilee Field to dry gas for power generation and to boost the petro-chemical industry. However, the Ghana Gas Company, after further studies decided to relocate the plant to Atuabo in the Ellembelle District. The site boundary demarcation was conducted by Rudan Engineering Limited, a licensed survey company in Ghana and the Western Regional Site Advisory Committee approved of the site plan on January 18, 2011. CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE has gathered that site preparation works at the Atuabo site, where the gas processing plant is to be located, are ongoing and the first batch of gas pipeline is expected in the third week of July. The payment of the monies began on Thursday, July 5, 2012 after a ceremony in Half-Assini in the Jomoro District. The affected farmers were issued with cheques to be cashed from the Half-Assini branch of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB). Prior to the payment exercise, the beneficiaries were made to complete a Standard form “F” which required their names, passport pictures, geographical locations and technical descriptions of affected property. Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. George Sipa Yankey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Gas Company Limited (GNGCL) explained that the compensation covered economic crops which destroyed during land demarcation and survey works about three years ago. He commended the affected farmers for their patience for the past three years and indicated that because of the delay in the payment of compensation, the government had added 20 per cent of the amount for all farmers. He added affected farmers would be fully compensated in accordance with international standards to ensure they do not lose the value of their money after the commencement of the Gas Tank Farm project. Dr. Yankey announced that the company would ensure that adequate compensation was given to all persons whose crops had or would be affected by the company’s activities including installation of the gas facility at Atuabo, metering and regulating stations, distribution stations and laying of 11 kilometre on shore pipeline operations. During an open forum, some of the affected farmers expressed disgust about the payment exercise, stressing that officials of the Ghana Gas Company did not meet them to agree on the amount to be given to them. In a sharp rebuttal, Dr. Yankey explained that his outfit engaged the services of the Land Valuation Division of the Lands Commission to determine the amount to be given to each farmer.