Youth express concern over neglect - At Aboadze power enclave

BY: Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu
Youth express concern over neglect - At Aboadze power enclave

Angry youth in the Shama District in the Western Region have expressed concern over lack of job opportunities at the Aboadze power enclave in the region.

They accused the management of companies working in the area of neglect, claiming that the companies were rather engaging people from other places.

According to the youth, since the discovery of oil in the area, some of them had acquired the requisite skills for the energy sector but were often neglected during recruitment exercises by the companies.

They refuted claims by the companies that many youth from the area such as Aboadze, Abuasi, Shama, Essikado, Kojokrom, Nyankrom, Mpintsim and Sofokrom had been offered jobs by the companies.

The situation has led to apprehension among management of the companies, some of whom are expatriates.


Event

Mr Peaceful Baidoo, one of the youth leaders, in an interview in Takoradi after a press conference at Shama last Thursday, questioned the honesty of political actors and the companies who he said had reneged on their promises to provide jobs for the youth in the communities.

“We are fishermen who have now acquired other skills. We now boast artisans such as welders, engineers, master craftsmen, masons and others,” he claimed.

Reaction

In their reaction, some of the companies blamed the threats by the youth on lack of understanding of how the companies operated.

“We cannot continue to keep people whose services are no longer needed. If the reason for which they were recruited did no longer exist, we cannot continue to keep them,” a source from one of the companies explained.

It said the posturing by the youth was affecting ongoing works on a 192-megawatts plant expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019.

“The main contractor and sub-contractors may not be able to employ everybody and that aside, if a specific service required ends, there is no way the main contractor can take on a workforce from the community,” it added.

The source further expressed concern about constant threats by the youth to forcibly gain access into the company site which was a danger-zone where serious upstream fabrication, welding and other construction works were taking place.

“We are introducing the workers to world-class skills in welding using automatic and semi-automatic technologies among other skills, therefore, our focus is to live in peace, transfer these skills and not to be met with this level of antagonism and daily threats which do not augur well for the space we are working,” the source said.

Some of the expatriates said they were made to understand that at the construction stage, skills had to be developed “which we are committed to doing.”

“I must be honest here, that Ghanaians and those from the communities are very hardworking people who are ready to learn, but the current agitation is contrary to our focus on ensuring peaceful coexistence,” it stated.

When the Daily Graphic visited the enclave, there was security presence, including the deployment of drones to protect workers and property of the targeted companies.