Source: Daniel Kaku
Joseph Amoah, District Chief Executive (DCE) for Shama
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Shama in the Western Region, Hon. Joseph Amoah has reacted to concerns raised by Aboadze/Abuesi NPP youth with respect to their employment quota with Amandi Company at Aboadze.
He told journalists at a news conference, Monday September 24, 2018 that the employment issues between the youth and Amandi Company existed before he took office.
It would be recalled that a section of NPP youth in the Aboadze/Abuesi twin-communities on September 16, 2018, issued a press statement accusing the DCE of neglecting them with special reference to their inability to seek employment at Amandi Power Company and other developmental lapses in the District.
The DCE said in view of the strategic nature of the project to the state, he organized a stakeholders meeting with the youth leadership, management of Amandi and their sub-contractors, the Chiefs and Assembly members of the adjoining communities; Abuesi, Aboadze, Lower Inchaban, Upper Inchaban and Dwomo.
At a meeting which was also attended by Twyford Ceramics, a Chinese tiles manufacturing company operating within the enclave, management of Amandi claimed they had employed quite a lot of youth from the District, with majority coming from Aboadze.
Management of Amandi said they had employed others from other parts of the country with respect to the needed expertise “and this is what the youth of Aboadze led by the Assembly member do not seem to understand”.
Management blamed the Assembly man Honourable K. Baidoo for being “the main protagonist behind agitations by the youth against the company which was affecting the company of meeting its targets and as a result incurring more cost to the state”.
Mr. Amoah added that management of Twyford also averred that almost 50% of their workforce of about 800 come from Aboadze and surrounding towns and villages.
The DCE said management of the two companies gave the assurance that they would continue to consider the youth of the District as and when they are doing employment and promised to furnish his office with statistics of their employment trends to confirm their claims which Amandi has done.
Mr. Amoah said according to the data submitted by the company as of August 28, 2018, Amandi and its sub-contractors have employed 1,509 Ghanaians out of which 502 are from Aboadze and surrounding communities.
At the meeting, the DCE said the youth were advised to use appropriate channels to address their concerns rather than resorting to confrontations since the power plants are strategic national assets.
He said the MP for Shama, Hon. Ato Panford had also on two occasions visited the site to meet with the youth and advised them not to take the law into their own hands but to use the appropriate channels to address their grievances.
The DCE added that after continuous agitations by the Aboadze youth including the occasional invasion of the premises of the site by the youth the MP organized another stakeholders meeting at the Assembly with the Regional Minister as chairman.
At the meeting, the Regional Minister, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie condemned the stance of the Aboadze youth and cautioned that no one had entitlement to employment in the company adding that the 1992 constitution was against discrimination and that every Ghanaian had equal opportunity to employment anywhere in Ghana.
“However, considering the proximity of Aboadze and surrounding communities to the project and the negative impact, should any occur, to the inhabitants, it was agreed that there should be an internal arrangement in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be signed by the Assembly members and chiefs of the communities on one side and management of Amandi on the other witnessed by the Assembly which would guide future employment of qualified youth in the District into the company”.
It was further agreed that the MoU should state that in the event of distributing quotas to the communities, Aboadze being the closest of the communities will receive the highest share,an arrangement which was rejected by the Assembly member for Aboadze when we met the youth to explain the arrangement to them and further asked the youth to reject same insisting that he has a committee in place to determine who should be employed by the company.
The DCE said but for the presence of the police and well-meaning section of the youth, he would have been attacked by the assembly member and his group.
Mr. Amoah said the same arrangement has been put in place by the West Africa Gas Pipeline Company (WAPCO) and Ghana Gas Company Ltd. who were doing a project at the enclave and the assembly member for Aboadze has agreed to it and the community was benefiting from that.
The DCE wondered why all the other Assembly members agreed to thye Amandi arrangement with the exception of that of Aboadze and stated that “if we allow the demand of the Assembly member to hold,we may be institutionalizing youth agitations and revolts in the Districts in the sense that youth of Nyarkrom, Inchaban, Yabiw and other communities rise up to demand that the companies situated on the lands should employ only their youth”.
The DCE refuted allegations that he had told those seeking employment at Amandi or any other company to come to the Assembly.
He said the Assembly was concerned to create alternative opportunities for employment through government policies like the One District, One Factory, Planting for Food and Jobs, the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO).
Mr. Amoah said plans were far advanced for the establishment of a Waste to Energy Plant in the District as part of employment creation.
The DCE debunked allegations by the Aboadze/Abuesi youth of abandoning all projects as mentioned in their statement.
Aboadze football club-We do not have any Aboadze football club that has been abandoned. If they are referring to the Aboadze football park, it was started by the former MP and with my assumption of office, we have paid the outstanding bills of the contractor. What is outstanding, is the payment of variations for the inner perimeter and conversion of the hinged gate to a sliding one which was not included in the original designs.
Sea Defence Project
This project was also started under the NDC administration.When we came into office,I have accompanied the MP together with the Minister for Works and Housing, Hon Atta Akyea to visit the project sitewith the contrctor with an assurance from the Minister that government is doing everything possible to settle the outstanding bill left over by the NDC, after which the second phase of the project will start.
Abuesi Ultra-Modern Community Center
Outstanding debt on this project,which is a self-financing project, started by the former MP, has also been settled upon my assumption of office t5hrough the MP’s common fund. The contractor, who happens to be the brother of the former MP, has so far refused to go to site. The Assembly is in consultation with the current MP to terminate the contract and re-award to another contractor who can complete the project.
Road network linking Aboadze and Abuesi
It is interesting to note that during the eight-year administration of the NDC government, nothing was done about the deplorable state of this road, so it begs the question that some Aboadze youth should accuse me of not fixing the road after only one year 4 months in office, knowing too well that the construction of that road is above the capacity of the Assembly. However, I have been part of an inspection of the road by the sector Minister accompanied by the National Director of Hydrological department and plans are far advanced for the construction of that road.
Let me admit that there are lots of concrete drainage system deficit in the district as the NDC administration did not do much about it, and it is worthy to note that there is no drainage works that the NDC started at Aboadze/Abuesi which I have abandoned. However, we have started the construction of drains for communities where homes are flooded anytime it rains for example Shama, Kumasi and Nkwatakesedo. With time, it will get to the turn of Aboadze/Abuesi.
Projects embarked upon by DCE
-Rehabilitation of Islamic Primary Schools at Aboadze (completed)
-Rehabilitation of D/A Primary School at Aboadze (completed)
-Construction of 3-unit classroom block at Abuesi Methodist School (90% complete)
-Expansion of School Feeding Programme to Aboadze D/A Primary School
-Supply of Dual Desks to Abuesi Methodist JHS
-Supply of Dual desks to D/A JHS
Bursary and assistance
A lot of students in the communities have been supported and continue to receive funds to pay their fees both at the secondary and tertiary levels. A lot of disabled people have recently benefitted from the Assembly under the Disability fund in the form of deep freezers containers as well as various sums of money ranging from GHc1,500.00 and above for economic ventures.
The DCE used the occasion to appeal to the chiefs and people in the District to remain calm and be assured that development and prosperity will be their page.