Mr. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, has inaugurated a 10-member Resettlement Implementation Committee (RIC) with a call to ensure smooth relocation of Project Affected Persons Representative (PAPR’s) on the Labour Department Headquarters Land in Accra.
This is to pave the way for the reconstruction of an ultra-modern Headquarters Office Complex.
The Minister made this known during a stakeholders’ meeting in Accra.
He impressed upon the Project Affected Persons’ (PAP’s) to as a matter of urgency relocate the affected people to pave way for the reconstruction of the four-storey Labour Department Head Office building.
The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) is implementing Component Three of the Ghana Jobs and skills Project.
As part of the project, the Labour Department Head Office is being redeveloped to an ultra-modern complex.
The implementation of the Project would displace 22 persons, mainly petty traders, food vendors and hawkers, all with movable properties.
The livelihood of these affected persons was impacted.
These displacements and impact triggered the World Bank Involuntary Resettlement Policy.
The Minister emphasized that the project had a timeline, and the more the relocation phase of the project delays, the more it affects the timelines for its completion.
He also revealed that the PAPR’s would be supported to relocate the affected people to places of their choice before the project begins.
However, he urged the Project Affected Persons Representative not to relocate their businesses to prohibited places.
He advised the Representatives that wherever they want to settle, they must ensure they obtain the necessary document for occupancy.
He also tasked the Project Coordinator Mr. Ernest Berko to design a canteen that could be outsourced to sublet the space to the food vendors.
Mr. Baffour Awuah admonished the vendor to comply with the directives, if not, the Ministry would be compelled to fall on the City Guards to ensure they vacate from the Labour Department for work to commence.
The building complex construction, expected to start in May 2023, would be completed within 13 months.
The Minister disclosed that per the guidelines of the World Bank, squatters on the project site had to be relocated with their movable structures before the project commenced.
“The World Bank’s safeguard policy on involuntary resettlement is to be complied with where involuntary resettlement impacts on livelihoods” he said.
He therefore directed the representatives of the PAPs to inform their members of the directives from the ministry to relocate as early as practicable.
A representative of the PAP’s, Madam Patience Annan, assured the Minister that they had accepted the call on them to relocate from the premises to make way for the reconstruction of ultra-modern Labour Department Office Complex.
She also thanked the ministry for the kind gesture and advice.
The mandate and the terms of reference for the 10-Member Committee is to evaluate the progress made on the relocation of PAP’s.
The Committee will also ensure restitution due to PAP’s are delivered on time, monitor the affected persons to ensure that the compensation paid to them is used for its intended purposes.
The Committee will exist till the project is completed.
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