NZEMALAND CRIES FOR ACCELERATED DEVELOPMENT
It is incontrovertible that once upon a time the Nzema State, the birth place of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first President of Ghana, was forgotten following the blackest moment that cloaked Ghana when his administration was toppled in a February 1966 coup that gave birth to the National Liberation Council made up of such people as General Ankrah, Colonel E. K. Kotoka and Major Akwasi Amankwah Afrifa, all of blessed memory now.
Today, Nzemaland is the economic powerhouse of our energy mix. God, in His infinite wisdom, protected the Nzemaland for about 40 years and in May 2007 turned the rejected and forgotten stone to become the cornerstone for the builder (Government). Nzemaland (the forgotten source) is back again in the scheme of things in the country because of an expansive deposit of black gold in commercial quantity found there.
It is a trite knowledge that Nzemas are fortunate to have oil in their area but this ostensibly is not reflecting in the lives of the youth in particular in terms of employment and scholarships. This was clearly amplified some few years ago by the loquacious and ubiquitous MP for Assin Central, Hon Kennedy Agyapong, that “the Nzemas were getting nothing from the oil in spite of them being owners of the land”.
It is regrettable that a lot of people who have risen to prominence in the Nzema area have stood on the shoulders of some prominent Nzema giants but have always hornswoggled (shortchanged) the youth with all sorts of El Dorado and utopian promises. It is even sadder to find out that a whopping US$15,000 000 out of a colossal pay-out to the Ewusie Osei Group in 2011 by the Kosmos Energy meant for the entire West Cape Three Point is missing as referenced by the Special Prosecutor, Mr Martin Amidu, on Ghanaweb on 27th August, 2019.
As at the time of this publication, nobody had succeeded in tracing the whereabouts of the ‘People’s Dough’(that amount) from the national kitty. To add insult to our injury, which we are quietly bearing like a Saint, in November 2019, during the gift spree occasioned by the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation as revealed by the Vice Chairman of PIAC, Dr Thomas Stephens, GNPC doled out large sums in Ghana Cedis to support the following institutions and events:
1. Damba Festival 400, 000.00
2. Ghana JournalistsAssociation 50, 000.00
3. Ghana Boxing Association 30, 000.00
4. First Lady’s Rebecca Foundation 120, 000.00
5. EOCO 550, 000.00
6. Okyenhene’s 20th Anniversary Celebration 1, 500, 000.00
We the Nzema youth in the Diaspora, in collaboration with Youth for Development in the Nzemaland, feel it is very disingenuous and troubling if all this largesse of GNPC could be enjoyed by all these institutions, without it considering causing a similar economic windfall on the Nzema people.
In the midst of this plethora of resources in the Nzemaland, the Nzema State is suffering debilitating economic bottlenecks in development such as bad roads, unwholesome water, poor health facilities, lack of funding and scholarships, poor school buildings and inadequate instructional materials, and lack of jobs. We believe, at this critical juncture of our historic consciousness, the Nzema Youth in the diaspora and the Youth for Development can no longer look on with blasé attitude as our resources are carted away without compensatory royalty and equity, all in the name of national development. The people and the Nzema State deserve better.
The Nzema Youth in the Diaspora and the Youth for Development of the Nzemaland, in collaboration with the Great King Kaku Aka III of the Nzema State, who, since his ascension to the throne, has shown commitment to the development of the youth and the entire Nzemaland, are appealing to the Government, GNPC, Ghana Gas, ENI and all companies drilling oil not to skirt the Nzemas out of their Corporate Social Responsibility and other compensations.
Another area where the Nzemas have been shortchanged, which is of much concern to the youth both home and abroad, is the naming of the oilfields. How can a raw material be found in a vicinity or district and some different names are put on where it is sourced? The oilfield is in the Tano Basin, which is part of the three offshore basins in Ghana, namely the Tano Basin, Saltpond Basin, and the Accra-Keta Basin. The Tano Basin was strangely named West Cape Three Point Basin. It is interesting to note that the Voltaian Basin, which is still under exploratory stage, is called the Voltaian Basin. The name should be changed to Tano Basin or Nzema Oilfield to classify Nzema among areas where oil is produced to enable this rich resource area to attract investments.
We believe if Obuasi Goldfield, which is now AngloGold, was once called Obuasi Goldfield, then West Cape Three Point should be changed and called Nzema Oil. Adamus Gold Mines should bear the name Nkroful or Nzema Goldfield like the Chirano Gold Mines and Tarkwa Gold Mines; all these can promote accelerated economic development and improve the living standard of the Nzemas.
This blatant disregard for the Nzema tradition and culture and disrespect for our traditional authority should stop with the utmost immediacy. The oil find in the Nzema state should be a catalyst for accelerated development in the area. Period.
The Nzema Youth in the Diaspora