John Mahama, former Ghanaian President
Former President John Mahama has assured the Chiefs and people of Jomoro Constituency in the Western Region he will establish fertilizer plant and an oil refinery in the area when voted into power after 2020.
He added that a petrochemical industry to give impetus to the Atuabo Freeport will be his next focus in the area.
The former President who is now the Presidential Candidate for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) said this when he paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of Eastern Nzema Traditional Council, Awulea Amihere Kpanyinli at Atuabo during his two days “Thank You Tour” in the Region.
According to him, his government designed plans to establish these projects in the Jomoro after the Atuabo Freeport.
“Aside the Freeport, we also planned to build a Gas Processing plant in Port in Eastern Nzema. Western Nzema, we were bringing petrochemical plants and the designs we did are there and we will get petrochemical plants, oil refinery, fertilizer plant and these are in Western Nzema, so we have to come and continue these projects and create jobs for this area,” he noted.
He said the project will create jobs for the teeming unemployed in the Nzemaland and therefore called on them to support him to win the 2020 elections to honour his pledge.
He told the people of the area that the NPP in opposition deliberately used some means to delay the project.
Mhama maintained that the Atuabo free port project and other oil and gas services projects, which his government initiated for Western and Eastern Nzema, were to enable the country derive maximum benefits from the oil find.
“We planned building an oil services port here at Atuabo. Unfortunately, there was a bit of misunderstanding. Our brothers from the other political divide took the project to court, stalled it till we left office,” he stated.
He continued, “The Atuabo free port project is very critical as it will help the oil and gas industry. So when NDC comes back, we will resurrect and build it so that the oil industry can have a place to receive their services. It will also create employment for our young ones in the Nzema area.”
Mr Mahama noted that “we also thought it wise to have all these projects to be at par with the infrastructure in the Nzema area and so we initiated the gas enclave project. So now all the roads where the gas plant and ancillary companies have been tarred”.According to him, Parliament in July 2014 approved an agreement between his Government and British company Lonrho Ports for the development of an oil and gas free port at Atuabo.
He added that the US$700 million Atuabo Freeport project was expected to be operational in 2017 and serve as a regional hub in promoting safe and efficient offshore businesses but this did not materialize.
Mahama stressed that it was designed as part of the deep water port to grow the oil and gas industry. However, five Members of Parliament took the then National Democratic Congress (NDC) government to court over exclusivity clauses and attempts to stop the Takoradi Port from expanding.
According to him, it was also designed to house facilities like loadout quay connected to fabrication assemble areas and heavy lift capacity among others.
The Chief of Nzema Akropong, Nana Adu Kwame commended former John Mahama for his visionary step towards the establishment of the Ghana Gas Company Limited at Atuabo in the Nzemaland adding that, but for him, the project would not have existed.
He said the chiefs and people of Nzema will forever be indebted to the NDC administration for putting Ghana’s gas infrastructure on their land.
“What I want to say is that in time past what your party did for us we appreciate but for you we would not have had Ghana Gas on our soil. You did it for us and today we are seeing a lot of things. You added ENI the other day I met some”, he acknowledged.
According to him, a one-touch victory for the NDC in the 2020 general elections is assured if only “you do not walk where you walked which led you to your bitter defeat in 2016”.
Former President John Mahama was accompanied by the former Petroleum Minister and the current Member of Parliament for Ellembelle, Emmanuel Armah Kofi-Buah, some former MMDCEs, the Western Regional Executives of the party led by the Regional Chairman, Nana Toku among others.