The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, no doubt has many failed campaign promises.
But there are legendary ones that will never be forgotten because they fall within his direct physical residence.
Many of the constituents never believed him anyway, not only because they traditionally vote for the NDC, but also because the promise set the haves against the have-nots – and Nana Akufo-Addo needed badly to identify with the have-nots.
When Nana identifies with Nima, it is just like Kuame Eugene claiming Fadama – an urban slum dwelling as his home base.
Kuame Eugene is by now a well-to-do musician who can now afford to live in East Legon, a plush suburb of Accra even if he started life as a hustler in Fadama.
But Nana Addo was born with a silver spoon in his mouth even though his father owned a residence in Nima, hence the skepticism that greeted his many promises to residents of Nima, and the surrounding slums of Maamobi, Accra New Town and Pig Farm.
Indeed Nana Addo as a former MP can afford to live in the best parts of Ghana but for electoral fortunes, he chooses to live often in Nima.
GhanaWeb looks at two of the projects, namely; the Nima redevelopment project and the first sky train station in Ghana.
Nima redevelopment project
On Tuesday, May 14, 2019, the Government of Ghana through Samuel Atta Akyea, who was the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, reiterated its commitment to transform Nima, considered a slum, into a world-class community with executive amenities.
The project dubbed ‘Nima Redevelopment Project’ was expected to cover Maamobi too.
The project was to provide the areas with modern housing facilities, far better than the high-end apartment complex, Villagio, in Accra.
President Nana Akufo-Addo in February 2019 hinted at plans to transform Nima as part of plans to “regenerate” the area.
Nima is in the heart of Accra and is just about five kilometers from Kotoka International Airport, hence anyone with landed property, even if they are “living in squalor” – Akufo-Addo’s favourite campaign lingo – owns a precious asset.
Consequently, the announcement did not go down well with residents who raised concerns that the move was an attempt to dislodge them from their landed properties.
But addressing the media in Accra, Atta-Akyea called for calm, while reassuring Nima residents that the developers of the projects were going to compensate them with ‘glamorous apartments’.
“We are aware that the people of Nima have their own homes. We are not going to dislodge them,” Atta-Akyea assured.
“We are going to build executive flats and housing arrangements for them and they will move in free of charge. This is to create a better environment for them so that the land space -where they are- will be released to the developer. The developer can decide that this space that he has will be more glamorous than Villagio, which will compensate them for the properties that they have released for them”.
The minister went on further: “The residents can now sell their Villagio structures to cancel out the cost. This is what we are trying to do but they will live in the modern structures free of charge. But, they will own it because we took the slum and we used the land for [their] benefit. So they will have it free of charge. That is how to go”.
Fast forward to 2022, Samuel Atta Akyea is no longer the works and housing minister and the project has still not started.
Francis Asenso-Boakye, the current minister for works and housing, has attributed the delay of the Nima Redevelopment Project to hostile attitudes by stakeholders and occupants of homes within the area.
“Nima redevelopment is still on the agenda of the government, except that there is one fundamental challenge or obstacle we need to clear,” Francis Asenso-Boakye told the media on June 28, 2021. “And that has to do with the engagement of the stakeholders there”.
He went on: “I have started engagements with the Member of Parliament there and when I first mentioned it to him, I thought he was going to embrace it because it’s a good project, but he tells me it’s not an easy matter, so we are currently putting together a team to start engagements with them”.
So which way for the Nima Redevelopment Project; Yaamutu or No Yaamutu?
First sky train station in Accra
Another project that seems to have been delayed or will likely not happen is the government’s promise to build a first-ever sky train in Accra by August 2020.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Monday, November 11, 2019, at the signing of the agreement for the sky train station in Accra, described it as “a happy day for Ghana and her good people”, adding that it is a “critical step towards the consummation of this project”, and a vivid testimony of the value of the African Investment Forum.
The Accra Sky Train, according to him was aimed at, “meeting an important infrastructural need, and hopefully the step that is being taken today, that is signing the concession agreement, is bringing the project to a much nearer conclusion. That is what we are hoping for so that the people of Ghana benefit from the progress and the relief that a modern system of transport in our capital city is going to bring.”