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Why the Nima Highway was renamed after the Billionaire Saudi Prince, Al-Waleed Abdul Aziz Al-Saud

July 4, 2013

Yesterday (July 3, 2013), the Saudi Prince made a-days working visit to Ghana. And according to communications coming from the Flagstaff House he was in Ghana to discuss investment and business matters with the President.

As part of the visit, the Prince visited Maamobi and Nima. There, he was conferred with the title of a development chief for the area by the Chiefs of the area. In addition, the famous Nima Highway was renamed after him. Most people I interacted with expressed mixed opinions about the renaming of the street, so I decided to find out from our leaders the rationale behind the act.

I first approached my elected Assembly Member for Maamobi West, Hon Alhaji Abu. I then spoke on phone with the various Assembly Members for Maamobi East, Nima West and Nima East (Hon’s Hafiz, Sanda & Shareau). I had a meeting with Chief Imoro Baba Issah, the Chairman of the Ayawaso Council of Zongo Chiefs. I also spoke on phone with the NDC Chairman for Ayawaso North Alhaji Teena, and met again with Hon Sumaila (Chinese), a government appointee at the AMA. But more importantly and significantly, I had a meeting at the Flagstaff House with Hon Dr Mustapha Ahmed, our MP and a Minister of State at the Presidency, who was in charge of the Prince’s visit to Ghana.

After all the meetings and the telephone calls, it emerged that the decision to rename the Nima Highway after Prince Al-Waleed was taken at the highest level of the Presidency. The President, H.E. John Dramani Mahama was very instrumental in this exercise, and he directed the MP’s of the two communities and the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) to effect the necessary changes. The AMA passed a resolution on that at a special sitting with all our Assembly Members present.

The main reasons why the street was renamed were two fold. Firstly, the Prince has made and continue to make investments in Ghana, as well as undertook some philanthropic ventures such as the building of the $300,000 Prince Al-Waleed JHS at Kanda in the Ayawaso East Constituency. Secondly, the government has in the pipeline the Urban Renewal Program to upgrade some deprived communities such as Nima and Mamobi, so it is the expectation of government that a relationship with the Prince could give further meaning to the program. It is also the anticipation of the government that the Prince will assist the community in their quest to address some of the developmental challenges facing them.

Those where the reasons why the Nima Highway was renamed, at least from what I’m told and gathered.

Now, my thoughts:

The idea and intention behind the renaming was good. However, the approach was not the best. For instance, almost all the Assembly Members were not consulted. They were only informed of the change of name during the special sitting of the AMA. The entire community was never consulted. The leaders assumed that since the idea was good so, therefore, the community will embrace it. That was wrong, and improper. The community should have been consulted irrespective of the nature and significance of the exercise. When that is done, nobody, or at least very few people will criticize the activity.

Our leaders should realize that we are also very important stakeholders, and needs to be consulted as much as possible on developmental issues in our community.


From → Politics

  1. Well… Good piece of writing…. I am happy you don’t write without investigating like others often do…. Objective and not passionate… Anyway I think the thing about diplomacy is that not everything must come with reason…. when I saw the initial sentiments this morning, i thought to myself… both sides (those crying that the Prince does not deserve it and those gunning for the name change) might be right! For the latter group… it might be explained by forward thinking action. In plain language… say the Prince forms a partnership through networking with the community leadership to invest directly or indirectly in future through say cash donations or funding projects… or maybe even religious development. That same group might have had prior knowledge of the Prince’s investments like you said. And even if none of their expectation is true, it maybe justified for the mere reason of diplomacy (future benefits as a result of bilateral cooperation)! For the former group….. hmmmmm…. they probably wanted to see the investments or feel the impact first before supporting the move…. which I can not directly blame them but we can all agree the latter group had more reason for jubilation!

  2. Sadeeq permalink

    I will never call it any name but NIMA HIGHWAY. Is it because its predominantly Muslim community so the govt without any consultation can chose to name and rename streets to a saudi prince?. Just $300,000 how cheap our govt is. VIVA NIMA HIGHWAY

  3. Abdulsalam Mohammed permalink

    indeed Mahmud you are very right… that is is very bad to have happen to Nima……Indeed i am very much disappointed with the Presidency and whoever was involved in the process for not consulting the community appropriately………..As for our leaders they must be awake……Every points that Dr Mustapha Ahmed is deeply involved in the process? Why as he desided not to do due consultation, was it a disrespect for the community……..
    I will like to refer you all to the recomendation of SHeikh usman Braimah Bari in his book : THE COMPREHENSIVE HISTORY OF ISLAM AND MUSLIMS IN GHANA,, about the renaming of the Nima STREETS…After reading that, then you will understand how grave a mistake it was for us to have named the street after the PRINCE

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