Government is to compensate the chiefs and people of La over the acquisition of the 127- acre land site of the Ghana Trade Fair Centre in Accra.
A lump sum payment will be made while part of the compensation will be put into equity for perpetual use of the La people, Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Trade and Industry announced on Friday when he inaugurated a nine-member board of the Ghana Trade Fair Company Limited.
The Minister expressed regret that due compensation had not been paid on the land all these years and gave the assurance that “this time the right thing will be done to ensure peaceful coexistence with the people.”
Mr Iddrisu led the board to swear the official oath and the oath of secrecy to usher the members into office.
The board is made up of its Chairperson, Hannah Brenda Anewenah Amoateng, a former Vice Chairperson of J P Morgan in USA, Nii Kpobi Tetteh Tsuru, La Mantse, Benita Sena Okity-Duah and Rosalind A. Kudoadzi.
The rest are, Comfort A. Adjei, Annie Letsu-Tetteh, Habiba A. Tanko, Joshua H. Akamba and Ebenezer Okpoti Koney.
The Trade Minister charged the Board to rise up to the occasion and address the challenges currently confronting the Trade Fair centre, which is not helping in its development.
He said their first task should be the initiation of a policy that would re-establish the Centre either under a public-private partnership or a government to government partnership; and turn the Centre into an international trade convention centre, with a shopping mall, a hotel facility, a recreation centre and a real estate as well as an exhibition centre.
“This is what his Excellency President John Mahama wishes the Centre to be,” Mr Iddrisu stated.
He noted that different investors from Paris, Brazil, and Dubai have expressed interest to partner Ghana to develop the Centre and urged the new Board, as a matter of urgency, assess these investors and select the best for the partnership.
He also tasked the Board to ensure that all issues concerning payment of compensation to various institutions is resolved amicably to avoid any payment of future judgment debts.
“The Board should clean-up any existing financial malfeasance at the Trade Fair Centre”, he emphasized.
Mr. Iddrisu asked the Board to protect the assets of the Trade Fair Centre jealously and ensure that all its debtors pay monies owned to the Centre for renting purposes and others.
He further charged the Board to deepen the promotion of regional trade and exhibitions as the main activities of the centre.
Ms Amoateng on behalf of the members of the Board thanked government for the trust reposed in them and said they will meet as a team and work diligently with the executive management to turn the Centre’s fortunes around.
“I bring to bear my rich experience in investment to work together with other members and ensure that the Centre becomes what we want it to be”, Ms Amoateng said.
Nii Kpobi Tetteh Tsuru, La Mantse said the people of La will this time give their support to the new Board to develop the Centre.
He expressed happiness about the compensation issue and said “this will really make the La people very happy”.