48-hour ultimatum given to CSIR land encroachers to vacate

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Henry Quartey
Henry Quartey
Spining

Mr Henry Quartey, Greater Accra Regional Minister, has given a 48-hour ultimatum, effective today, to encroachers within the premises of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to vacate.

The Minister, who is also the Chairman of the Regional Security Council (REGSEC), said anyone found loitering within the 200-acre perimeter fenced facility after the deadline would be prosecuted.

Mr Quartey issued the warning on Monday during a media engagement in Accra.

He said REGSEC was collaborating with the Adentan Municipal Assembly and the CSIR to remove all those unauthorized structures mushrooming within the fenced enitity without further delay.

The Minister said REGSEC with the Adentan Municipal Assembly and the Animal Research Institute (ARI) of CSIR would also proceed to remove every structure on the land subsequently.

He said Government of Ghana, under Executive Instrument (E.I. 38), established the CSIR-ARI on an over one-thousand-acre land in 1976 at Adentan-Frafraha with a mandate to conduct research into the development and transfer of livestock and poultry technologies to communities, farmer groups, private and public organisations.

Mr Quartey said this was to ensure the long-term food security of the nation, adding that, when the land was acquired by the Government, all owners (including the original owners at Berekuso, Akuapim) were compensated. 

However, he said over the years, some unscrupulous persons had made it a habit of selling portions of the land to unsuspecting Ghanaians.

The Minister said none of the buildings put up by the encroachers had building permits from the Adentan Municipal Assembly.

He said in 2014, CSIR-ARI went to court and obtained a Writ of Possession to evict encroachers from the land, but the exercise did not materialise.

Mr Quartey said in an attempt to stop further encroachment, CSIR-ARI in 2017, acquired a loan to fence off the remaining 200-acre portion of the land.

“Today, the encroachment is even more serious. Large portions of these fences have been broken down by encroachers who have moved into these previously fenced areas to put up single rooms, foundations of houses and walling to demarcate plots for themselves.”

‘Land guards have broken down portions of the piggery infrastructure, destroyed four cattle kraals and foundations for buildings have been erected to replace them. Land guards have also built walls and single rooms in front of the Hatchery, Meat Processing House and the Dairy Processing Unit blocking access to these facilities by vehicles,” he said.

He said some ongoing experiments had also been destroyed by the land guards which included some donor sponsored ones.

The Minister said clashes between local farmers and Fulani herdsmen, a National Security issue was being solve by the Centre.

He said the Cattle Ranching Committee was developing a grazing corridor from the North to the South of Ghana and CSIR-ARI to provide expertise and locally developed nutritious pasture planting materials for the project.

He said unfortunately, all the pasture materials developed for this project had been destroyed by land guards with bulldozers.

Mr Quartey said staff of ARI had been beaten up and molested on several occasions by the armed land guards who also threatened to burn down the junior staff quarters.

He said members of the Security Council had visited the site and witnessed the aggressive encroachment even on the 200-acre fenced land.

The Minister said according to the Local Governance Act, 2016 (Act 936) section 97, the Adentan Municipal Assembly had the power to remove structures that were mushrooming on the CSIR/ARI lands without warning.

However, he said the Assembly and the ARI had gone ahead to issue warnings to developers within the perimeter to stop any development, but these warnings had been ignored by the encroachers with impunity.

Mr Quartey said the situation called for drastic measures to deal with the impunity with which people had encroached on the Land to protect the remaining 200-acre land.

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