The youth in Ada have described the redevelopment of the Songor lagoon concession by Electrochem Ghana Limited as “offering a lot of hope into the future”, urging all stakeholders to support it for the country to derive optimal benefit from it.
The call comes on the back of comments by radio personality Abukakar Ahmed, popularly called Blakk Rasta, on his show titled “The Black Pot regarding the Operations of Electrochem Ghana Ltd in Ada”.
Blakk Rasta had recently made several allegations, including an attack on the Ada paramountcy, claiming that Ada is a warzone. He also alleged that the Electrochem Ghana Limited had monopolised the control and operation of the Songor Lagoon, and claimed that the CEO, Dr. Daniel McKorley, is “a joker” for saying that revenue from Songor can substantially support the nation’s economy.
In a statement released yesterday, the group, calling itself Ada Youth Forum for Development (AYFfD), therefore urged the public to disregard such falsehood.
The secretary of AYFfD, Ernest Kugblenu, said the company, even after its very short operations, is carrying out impressive investments.
“The Ada Youth Forum for Development wish to state Blakk Rasta’s claim that revenue from salt is incapable of substantially adding to the nation’s gross domestic product is ignorant. Salt production, the one currently engaged in by Electrochem in Ada, if it becomes fully operational, will produce 7million tonnes of salt which production can be exported to countries within and outside the West African sub-region,” he noted.
The group added that the revenue from such exports and the internal use of the salt will, without doubt, boost the GDP of the country. In addition, the group insisted that anyone who claims such commercial production cannot improve the nation’s GDP is not only naïve, but equally mischievous with such claims without facts.
On the claim that the Ada state is a warzone, the group said it is not true. “On his said show, he claimed that Ada is now a warzone paraded by army wielding military squads and teams of police personnel. It is not only a palpable peddling of falsehood but very disingenuous on the part of the said journalist and total disregard of the very tenets of journalism one of which is truth and/or candour,” the statement said.
The secretary of the group revealed that the said journalist visited the Ada Traditional area recently during the Ada Asafotufiam Festival.
“Even without prior notice, but he [Black Rasta] was granted audience in a very confidential meeting by the Tekperbiawe Clan. The visit was peaceful and calm, yet he goes ahead to report very contrary facts. This is not only unfair, but an offence to the tenets and oaths of his profession as a journalist,” the group stated.
They also objected to the claim that Electrochem had monopolised the production of salt in Ada and excluded the communities from same.
The group also disclosed that Electrochem had employed about 80% of its workforce from Ada, with just few of its technical staff who have been contracted outside Ada due to the difficulty the company had attracting the requisite talent within the Ada enclave.
It said ongoing construction of community pans in Nakompe, Adjumanikope, Agbdrafor, Bonikope, Toflokpo, Salome, Mantsekope, Kportitselope and Kposem, is testimony of growth and opportunities that impact the Ada community in totality.
“There is also provision of water to communities like Ajumanikope, Mantsekope, Sonkope,Nakomkope, Bonikope. There are also health institutions like the Sege Polyclinic and the Bonikope Health Centre; the construction of the first phase of the McDan Sports Village; the provision of a 20-unit WC Public Toilet to the Lolonya community,” it said.
It also cited the provision of GH¢3,000,000.00 interest-free loans to women within the Ada West and Ada East Assemblies; donations to several school children, including the Kportitsekope Basic School; the donation of a 4X4 pickup truck to the Ghana Police Service, among others.