By: KALD | Voltaonlinegh.com |
Work has resumed on the 88-kilometre Hohoe-Jasikan to Dodo Pepesu stretch of the eastern corridor road, almost three years after it was halted for a government audit.
The project, which was being executed by Israeli construction firm, Messrs Rollider Ltd under the Cocoa roads programme before the change in government in January 2017, has now been re-awarded to a Chinese firm, Synohydro Corporation Ltd.
Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on Tuesday cut sod for the commencement of work, which forms part of the Phase 1 of the $2billion Government of Ghana/Sinohydro Master Project Agreement.
The Synohydro facility, according to government was a barter arrangement in which the Chinese company will finance various infrastructure projects in Ghana worth two billion dollars, in exchange for the country’s bauxite deposits.
Speaking at the sod cutting ceremony at Jasikan in the Oti region, Dr. Bawumia said the road which has a long and painful history of neglect under the previous government, has now been prioritized by the government for urgent attention.
He noted that of all the critical roads listed in the 2020 budget, Hohoe-Jasikan and Jasikan-Dodo Pepesu are the only roads to commence, and assured residents of government’s resolve to ensure the project is completed on schedule.
“Indeed, contractors for these projects mobilized to site two weeks before Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta presented the 2020 Budget statement in Parliament. Under the Critical Roads Programme for Highway construction, Oti Region will have the Dambai Towns Roads, Nkonya-Wurapong-Kwamikrom Road and the Jasikan-Worawora Road.”
The Eastern Corridor Roads project, allotted as N2 of the National Road Network, begins from the Tema Motorway through to the Volta, Oti, Northern, North East and Upper East regions to neighbouring Burkina Faso.
According to the Vice President, sods will be cut for the Cape Coast inner city roads and Nyinahini area roads this week under the Infrastructure for Bauxite facility. The rest of other approved lots are expected to be undertaken soon.
“The commitment of government to the development of the Trunk Road Network is evidenced by the many Road and Bridge Development Projects as well as the numerous road maintenance projects that are on-going all over the country and to continue in the year of Roads in 2020.
“Government is on course to fix all critical road projects in a holistic approach so that every part of the country has durable roads” he stated.
The Minister for Roads and Highways, Mr. Kwesi Amoako-Atta on his part assured the people of Oti region of the Akufo-Addo government’s commitment to make a significant dent in the road infrastructure deficit, with their region featuring prominently.
Mr. Amoako-Atta also assured the youth in particular, of government’s resolve to ensure that the local content clauses in the agreement with Sinohydro are strictly adhered to in order to create jobs and incomes for indigenes. According to him, the project will provide many jobs to contractors, artisans, cooks, and others with varied professional skills.
On behalf of the Oti region, Nana Aburam Akpandza V, Paramount Chief of Buem and Preisdent of Buem Traditional Council, who chaired the sod cutting ceremony, expressed satisfaction at the show of concern by government towards the development of their roads.
Present at the sod-cutting ceremony were Hon. Kwesi Owusu Yeboah (Oti Regional Minister), Mr. Zhang Nianmu (President of Powerchina West Africa and Central Africa of which Sinohydro is a subsidiary), representatives of Embassy of China, Hon. Michael Yao Gyato (MP for Krachi East and Deputy Minister for Sanitation), and dozens of chiefs from the Oti region.