…Private Developers & Party Financiers Takeover
The Animal Research Institute division of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the only state-owned agency responsible for conducting research works on livestock in the country, is at the verge of collapse.
Decades of research, including pasture and other plants bought from several countries under observation for animal feed, have been destroyed because, the Akufo Addo government, through the Ga-West Municipal Assembly, has given out the research lands to some private developers and ruling party financiers for developments.
As we speak, these private developers since last week, have invaded the vast acres of the CSIR-Animal Research land, located at Amasaman near Pokuase in the Ga-West Municipality, with heavy earth-moving equipment such as excavators, bulldozers among others to clear the land for private use.
Sadly, neither government, Ga-West Assembly, nor the private developers, is bothered to inform the management of the Research Institution, prior to the invasion of the land; as various research works ongoing, as well as animal pastures occupying the land, worth millions of United States dollars, have been destroyed with impunity.
This is happening under the watch and tenure of celebrated scientist and heart surgeon, Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng, whose Ministry, Environment Science Technology and Innovations; the CSIR falls under.
For now, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) of Ga-West, Clement Nii Lamptey Wilkinson, will not give details about the name of the private developer and requisite permits regarding the land which he claimed were acquired by the developer, when he was confronted by the officers of CSIR.
He only told CSIR officials and Amasaman police at a crunch meeting last Friday that, it was an order from “above” within government for the land to be taken over; and besides, the developer, has all the necessary documentations to develop the land.
Amazingly, whoever gave authorization to the Ga-West Assembly, led by their MCE to allocate the huge vital state land for such project without the consent of CSIR Animal Research Institute, remains a mystery.
But shocked senior officials at CSIR, who are angry and saddened at the development, said state officials, have always been interested in their land.
The land is said to have been sold to developers in a fraudulent manner without the knowledge and approval of the CSIR.
Speaking in an interview with the media last Friday, at the site where the destruction is ongoing, Dr. Charles Domozoro, the officer-in-charge of the CSIR-Animal Research Institute at Pokuase said management is saddened at the turn of event, but will fight on to retrieve their land.
According to him, it is sad the Akufo-Addo government does not know or appreciate the value of research and therefore, allowed the research lands to be taken away.
He told the media that the institute has spent huge sums of money in acquiring the pastures from Australia for research purposes and it is unreasonable the manner such grasses have been destroyed within a blink of eyes without thinking about the implications on livestock in the country.
Meanwhile, this paper is informed that no letter concerning the acquisition or application for the land has been copied to management of the CSIR, let alone the Council Chairman for CSIR. Management is yet to be informed of any agreement.
Some staff of the CSIR animal research institute at pokuase clad in red in protest against the taking over of the research lands
The Executive Director of CSIR-Animal Research Institute, Dr. E.K Adu earlier in an interview when the issue first started, described the acquisition of the land as a “kangaroo” move.
According to him, the Pokuase site is the only livestock research based in the country and is at the heart of the survival of the Institute, stressing that, should any portion of the land be taken away, the institute could collapse.
He asked, “why are our leaders doing this to ourselves? Why do people think that any little space available in this country, must be occupied by structure?”
Dr. Adu, warned that if care was not taken, nothing would be left for the future generation to build on.
The land, has been in possession of the CSIR Animal Research Institute, since independence.
The escavators of the developer at the site busily
destroying some pasture for livestock
Bulldozers causing serious destruction at the site, clearing the land