Togbe Tatse Ahunubobrem V, Divisional Chief, Kpando Tsakpe has said the change in siting of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) Advisory Centre to the District Assembly grounds was necessitated by encroachment by some individuals.
He said the original site was the Kpando Fest enclave, but illegal human development activities on the parcel of land on the blind side of the Assembly facilitated the encroachment.
He said the land, which was acquired a decade ago by the Assembly for the project near the Art Gallery of the Centre for National Culture (CNC) was left unprotected by the Assembly, which led to the encroachments.
Togbe Ahunubobrem, speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) about seeming disagreements on the site of the project said the encroachment meant the project needed to be shifted to get the required land size for the utility of the building.
He said shifting the site means the edifice would be built behind the CNC building, which would not favour the purpose for the project.
He said an agreement reached between the Municipal Assembly and the Chiefs of the Akpini Traditional Area was for the sod-cutting to be performed be at the forecourt of the current Assembly premise, but the eventual construction would stick to its originally designated site at Kpando Fesi.
Togbe Ahunubobrem said they were shocked by the massive encroachment of the parcel of land during inspection, after the sod-cutting ceremony, culminating in the change of venue.
Mr. Theophilus Ernest Quist, Municipal Chief Executive said rumours that the Assembly “tricked” the Chiefs into agreeing for the sod-cutting to take place at the forecut of the Assembly in order for the construction to take place at the designated site afterwards was false.
He said the agreement as signed between the Assembly and the NBSSI by his predecessor obliged them to implement it to the latter.
Mr. Quist said the land for the Assembly at Fesi could be used for other projects that would also benefit the Municipality, but the Business Advisory Centre edifice needed to be at the capital of the Municipality, which is Gabi for the people to gain easy accessibility of doing business or seeking financial advisory help.
He said the edifice would beautify the Municipality after completion and that such a huge and important edifice should not be sited behind the CNC building at Kpando Fesi.
Mr. Quist said shifting the project to another site might cause the agreement to be cancelled by the other party so they had to build at the Assembly ground adjacent the Divisional Police Station, to avoid losing the opportunity as the project was undertaken in only two Districts in the Region, Kpando inclusive.
A youth group calling itself Concerned Kpando Youth in the Municipality was against siting of the project at the heart of town as they believed that decentralisation was the way to go saying the original site should have been maintained.
Mr. Isaac Newton Nyagbe, a member of the group and also Independent Parliamentary Candidate in the Constituncy, said the land acquired for the project at the outskirts of the capital of Kpando would encourage decentralisation and for all other towns in the Municipality to “enjoy their share of the national cake.”
He said the project would be best sited at Fesi to expand infrastructure and beautify other part of the Municipality.