The Tema Traditional Council (TTC), has appealed to the government and other stakeholders including factories operating in their jurisdiction to ensure equal job opportunities for the youth in the area.
The TTC noted that unemployment among the youth in the traditional area continued to increase despite the contribution of the council.
The Tema Shipi and Secretary to the TTC, Nii Armarh Somponu II, told the media last Wednesday, that prior to the government’s compulsory acquisition of 32 square miles of their lands in 1952, without any compensation to the stool, the traditional occupation of the people was farming and fishing.
He said after the acquisition of lands and resettlement of people, the indigenes of Tema lost all their farmlands which gave way to the construction of the port and the building of industries, a situation that led to the artificial death of the farming occupation.
Nii Somponu II noted that although the people of Tema were proud to let go of their lands for the benefit of the entire nation, the rise in unemployment in the area due to population growth had impacted negatively on the socio-economic situation of Tema.
He said the TTC was greatly concerned about the lack of employment opportunities for the youth, adding that anytime such job opportunities either in the public sector or the various factories in their jurisdiction were opened to hire people, indigenes with equally good qualification and skills were sidestepped.
“If our farm lands were available, they could have gone into farming but here is the case we have sacrificed our farmlands for the benefit of the entire nation,” he said.
He cited the recent recruitment of security personnel by the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, adding that out of the 380 personnel recruited, the Tema Stool was allocated only two slots.
“It is sad to note that despite the fact that we are losing the opportunities to work at the factories, in whose instance our lands were acquired, the government is also trying to side step us in other employment opportunities,” he said.
Adding to that, the TTC has appealed to the government to consider the appointment of an indigene as the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive for effective cooperation between the political and the traditional authority.
Nii Armah Somponu II, said in 2016, the council resolved, performed some traditional rites and swore an oath to have an indigene appointed as MCE for Tema, stressing that the resolve of the TTC remained unchanged.
“Go to Ada, Kpone Prampram, Teshie, Nungua and the position of M/DCEs is occupied by an indigene. In our case in the Tema Traditional Area, we have three assemblies, Ashaiman, which is a division of the stool, Tema Metro and Tema West, so how come out of the three slots, not even one position has been earmarked for an indigene?” he asked.
He said while the TTC did not have any problem with a non-indigene, they were of the firm belief that an equally qualified person, who hails from the area will have a better understanding of their socio-economic conditions.