The Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbors Authority, Paul Asare Ansah, says Ave Maria Resort in Tema will be pulled down by the end of January 2018 as part of the $1.5 billion Tema Port Expansion Project.
According to him, the owner of the Resort, Theresa Ntim, is aware that the $10 million facility will be pulled down.
Mr. Asare Ansah explained to Citi News that “the location of Ave Maria Resort was to be occupied by the railway terminal under the expansion project.
“We sympathize and empathize with the owners of Ave Maria. We have been talking to them for the past couple of months, if not years. She did not understand why her facility must be taken out. We have impressed upon her. We have gone back and forth.”
During the tussle that involved legal battles and accusations of intimidation, Mr. Asare Ansah suggested some inconsistency on the part of the Resort’s owners saying, “at certain points, she would agree that she would have to move out of the location… at a certain point, she would come back and say no.”
“We have made offers and counter-offers as to compensation and so forth. The owner took us to court to place injunctions and restrain us from demolishing the facility. The court ruled in our favour and she wouldn’t understand,” he recounted.
But “as at now, she [Theresa Ntim,] has come to appreciate the fact that the facility will go,” Mr. Asare Ansah stated.
Demolishing the facility was the last option for the Authority, according to the GPHA Director-General, who said they tried to see if the project could be realigned to accommodate the Resort but “they did all the scenarios and they came out with a defined decision that it was not possible to accommodate Ave Maria.”
In October 2017, staff of the Resort were reportedly accosted by some security personnel of the GPHA.
There was some earth movement by a bulldozer which blocked the front gate of the Resort, trapping staff and guests.
A Board Member of Ave Maria Beach Resort in Tema, has accused the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA), of intimidating the resort for over two years.
A Board Member of the Resort, Charlotte Ntim, in a Citi News interview, also said the police offered little protection to the Resort and its staff during a recent attack by security personnel of GPHA.
Theresa Ntim previously lamented that the tension between the Resort and the GPHA was indicative of a country that doesn’t value heritage.
This Resort is said to have been recommended to be preserved by the Center of the World Committee, as it is viewed as having great value for Ghana’s tourism sector.
It has a long heritage for hosting the likes of Ghana’s First President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah as a regular patron, and Queen Elizabeth when she visited Ghana.
By: Elvis Washington & Delali Adogla-Bessa/citifmonline.com/Ghana
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