The Ministry of Roads and Highways has reacted to reports that it has re-allocated monies meant for the construction of a bridge and some roads in Afram Plains in the Eastern Region.
The Members of Parliament for Afram Plains North and South, Betty Nana Efua Krosbi Mensah and Joseph Appiah Boateng respectively, claimed that the government had proposed to use the funds for construction works on the Accra-Kumasi highway instead of Adawso-Bunso to Ekye – Amanfrom.
They argued that the move would affect the food production capacity of the area.
Responding in a statement, the Ministry of Roads and Highways described the allegations by the MPs as misleading and inaccurate.
“The Ministry wishes to state that the joint statement is misleading and that the Members of Parliament could have easily sought the necessary clarification from the Ministry. The allegation by the Members of Parliament against the Ministry is biased and cannot, therefore, be accurate,” the Ministry said in its statement.
The Ministry explained that government had anticipated that two components of the project, with a total cost of €350 million will be executed concurrently, but it has not been able to conclude the arrangement of financing for the project.
The Ministry attributed the government’s inability to conclude the financial arrangements to the current debt restructuring exercise.
“It was expected that the two components of the project, with a total cost of €350 million, will be executed concurrently and be completed in thirty (30) months subject to the successful completion of the financing arrangement. It is in light of this that Government allocated about US$98 million under the US$750 million African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Loan as a contribution to the road contract component after one of the financiers declined to participate in the financial arrangement”.
The Ministry of Roads and Highways further stressed, “It is important to state that due to the current debt restructuring exercise, Government has not been able to conclude the arrangement of the financing for
According to the Ministry, government decided to apply the allocation under the Afreximbank facility to the Accra-Kumasi corridor.
“This has informed Government’s prudent decision to apply the allocation under the Afreximbank facility to the equally important Accra-Kumasi corridor,” it said.
The Ministry said the re-allocation of the funds will be applied to Apedwa to Ejisu section of the
Accra – Kumasi Road.
“The re-allocation will be applied to specifically the Apedwa to Ejisu section of the Accra – Kumasi Road. This stretch goes through major towns such as Osino, Anyinam, Enyiresi, Nkawkaw and Konongo in the Eastern and Ashanti Regions. It is common knowledge that sections of the road within these towns are usually marked with heavy traffic congestion causing a lot of delays, accidents, pedestrian-related crashes and increased travel time,” the Ministry of Roads and Highways explained in its statement.
The Ministry justified that the decision is in the interest of the welfare of Ghanaians entreating them to cooperate with the Ministry to improve the national road network.
“The Ministry wishes to assure the good people of the Afram Plains area, including the Honourable Members for the Afram Plains, and the general public that the decision taken is in the interest of the general welfare of the people of Ghana. Government is committed to addressing their road network challenges and encourages all to cooperate with the Ministry as we strive to improve upon the national road network,” the Ministry urged.
Source – CNR