Akufo-Addo launches $1.5bn projects in Tamale

President Akufo-Addo, who launched the multi-million dollar Tamale Interchange project yesterday, has told Ghanaians that “something remarkable is about to happen to this country.”

“Ghanaians would realize this remarkable development only when we work together,” he told the teeming and excited residents of Tamale, who thronged the venue of the project launch to witness the landmark occasion in the history of not only Tamale but also the entire Northern Region, which has no interchange.

He urged the contractors to work according to schedule since his government would not countenance delays in its execution.

Tamale went agog, as dignitaries such as the Vice-President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and others thronged the regional capital for the launch of the most outstanding skyline to be added to the fasting growing urban centre in the country.

New Beginning

The sod-cutting in Tamale signified the commencement for the construction and rehabilitation of many major roads across the country.

The Master Project Support Agreement between the Government of Ghana and Sinohydro of China was reached in 2017 and later approved by Parliament.

List of Roads

Under Phase 1 of the Sinohydro deal, 84-kilometre Accra inner city roads, 100km Kumasi inner city roads, Tamale Interchange project, PTC Roundabout Interchange project in Takoradi and 14km Adenta-Dodowa dual carriageway will be undertaken.

For the Accra Inner City roads, Ga North – Trobu is expected to get 19.03km; a 23.7km road for Ga Central–Anyaa Sowutoum; Ga East-Dome Kwabenya, 21.70km; Ledzokuku–Teshie 11.3km and Nanakrom–Santo, 8.0km.

Other projects include 39km Sunyani Inner City roads, 32.19km Western Region and Cape Coast inner city roads, upgrading of selected feeder roads in Ashanti and Western regions, rehabilitation of a 38km Oda-Ofoase-Abirem road, construction of a 66.40km Hohoe-Jasikan-Dodo-Papasu road – totalling 441.59 kilometres.

Beneficiaries of the Kumasi Inner City roads include Manyhia sub-Metro which will get 11km road; Suame sub-Metro, 9.45km; Tafo-Pankrono sub-Metro, 9.79km; Asokwa sub-Metro, 9.91km; Kwadaso sub-Metro, 6.29km; Oforikrom sub-Metro 7.43km; Subin sub-Metro, 8.98km; Nhyiaeso sub-Metro 7.00km; Bantama sub-Metro, 10.00km and Asante Mampong, 20.15km.

In Cape Coast, three roads at Akotokyir, six roads in Amamoma area, seven roads at Abura New Community and three roads near the Polytechnic Area would be constructed.

For the Western Region, there is going to be the construction of Apawusika road and links; a 10.19km road for Prestea.

Some selected feeder roads in the Ashanti and Western regions include a 7.2km Achiase-Wansamere–Awisasu Junction.

For feeder roads, 4km Mpasatia-Town roads; 4.5km Nyinahin-Adupri road; Nyinahin – Sereso, Timpon–Achiase junction road, 29.7km; 4.1km Nyinahin town roads; 1.5km Nyinahin Market junction -Pentecost Church feeder road, 14km Nyinahin-Kyekyewere feeder road; 3km Kessekrom-Adiembra road will receive massive facelift.

Barter Deal

Touching on the Sinohydro project, the President said it’s a barter arrangement through which the country would benefit from multiple projects spanning from interchanges in selected parts of the country to the enhancement of road infrastructure in the bauxite extracting areas and inner cities.

He charged the contractors of the Tamale project to be mindful of the environmental impact of the project and do everything possible to mitigate the health fallouts from it.

The Tamale project is part of a $2 billion priority works arrangement which has given rise to the establishment of an Aluminium Development Corporation to oversee the development of the country’s bauxite deposits,” the President said.

Each of the 16 regions in the country would benefit from the project under the arrangement the President assured the nation.

The Phase One, in particular, would cover some inner city roads in Accra covering some 84 kilometres.

Also planned is the dualisation of the Adenta to Dodowa road, which the President said would ease traffic congestion.

Dagbon Factor

The President said he was pleased to see peace restored in Dagbon as evidenced by the presence of the Mion Lana and the Yoo Naa- two important chiefs representing the Andani and the Abudu gates, describing the spectacle as evidence of a prevailing cordiality.

Earlier, the Chief of Sagnarigu, Ambassador Yakubu Abdulai, who spoke on behalf of the Dagbon Overlord, acknowledged the role of President Akufo-Addo in the restoration of peace in the area.

“Dagbon is grateful to you for starting the peace process which is now yielding fruits,” he said, adding that the independence celebration held in Tamale was the fruits of the now prevailing peace.

“Here we are again with the President and his powerful delegation, including the Vice-President, in the Northern Region,” he said.

Breaker of Rock

The Yaa Naa described the President as breaker of rocks for his feat in restoring peace in Dagbon, likening him to Bulamatari.

The Roads Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, urged the people of Tamale to give the contractors their maximum cooperation for the project to be successful.

He explained the various aspects of the projects which he said would ease congestion in the city.

The Chinese Ambassador Wang Sui Ting said the China government had been devoted to the development of Ghana.

He explained that Ghana-China economic and trade cooperation has witnessed fruitful achievements, saying in 2018 China-Ghana trade volume registered $7.2 billion, the biggest in history and ranked 6th in Africa.

“We look forward for more good policies and incentives to encourage foreign investment,” he asserted.

NDC Diabolics

Last September, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) clarified that the barter $2 billion arrangement between the Akufo-Addo administration and Sinohydro Corporation of China cannot constitute a loan.

The official response from the IMF left members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) flatfooted after they tried to sabotage the whole arrangement.

Sensing that the $2 billion barter agreement, when concluded, could serve as a catalyst for infrastructural development for the country and possibly dwindle their electoral fortunes, the NDC dashed to the IMF office in Accra on August 10, 2018, to get the Bretton Woods institutions to classify the agreement as a loan to increase the country’s debt stock.

They wanted the IMF to stop the deal because they claimed it was ‘illegal’ even though the same political grouping had helped in passing the agreement in Parliament before the House went on recess in late July.

The opposition party was working hard to disrupt the deal so that President Akufo-Addo and his government would be ‘incapacitated’ in executing developmental projects especially roads before the 2020 general elections.

That way, they would have turned round to criticize President Akufo-Addo for failing to achieve anything in the area of infrastructural development, with the hope of gaining electoral advantage.