The construction of the Bolga-Sherigu-Naaga road in the Upper East Region is said to have been delayed due lack of cash flow from government coffers to the contractor.
The 30.85-kilometer road that links the Bolgatanga Municipality to the Kassena-Nankana Municipality through Sherigu and Naaga was awarded to Araco Construction Limited in 2020. The was expected that the road would be completed in 2022.
But the Upper East Regional Director of the Ghana Highways Authority, Philip Samini said the road could not meet its timeline due to a lack of funding.
Mr. Samini who spoke exclusively to A1 Radio’s Joshua Asaah said the overall progress of work done on the road is about 38 percent completion.
“The overall progress stands at now, 38 percent completion, and the contractor has constructed most of the major culverts and bridges. Indeed, from the beginning of the project through Sherigu town, he has done the work up to the base level. He [contractor] is just waiting to get his next payment so that he can come and put bitumen within the Sherigu stretch because we all know that this dry season that is coming, we will be hit by dust.”
Provided the government releases funds timely to Araco Construction Limited for a continuation of the project, Mr. Samini expressed optimism that the contractor will be able to complete the entire road from Tanzui to Sherigu by November 2023.
“The whole thing boils down to the lack of cash flow. We are hoping that he will get cash so that within the shortest possible time, the Tanzui to Sherigu will be bituminized that stretch so that people can enjoy the road. When that is done, there will be road line markings that will make that stretch beautiful. We always set timelines but timelines are controlled by money. It may not be right if I say it will be completed in 2 years’ time when I am not sure where we are going to get the money. If anything, being equal, it is supposed to be finished in 2023 November, and Tanzui all the way to Naaga will be bituminized.”
The Regional Director of Ghana Highways who lamented that the failure of residents of the Upper East Region to provide land, sand, and gravel has thwarted the progress of projects in the region, has therefore called for a change of attitude.
Mr. Samini partly blamed the slow pace of work on the Bolgatanga-Sherigu-Naaga road as a result of a disagreement between the people of the Sherigu community.
“When it comes to winning gravel, it is a thug of war and we had it tough with the people of Sherigu. And that forced the contractor to go into the forest and Forestry Commission too says he shouldn’t take the gravel. The contractor at one stage had to park his equipment because the landlords say he should not pick gravel on their land. And it is one of the reasons the contractor says he has not been able to complete the project and he is right. Closed for two weeks, we were always at the Regional Minister’s office and by the time we settle the matter, the rains set in. We can’t go into the bush and bring materials because we will get stuck. So, we are all waiting for the rains to subside so that we can pick up things”, he stated.
The Bolgatanga-Sherigu-Naaga road when completed will serve as the fastest connectivity between the Upper East Region and the Upper West Region as well as parts of the North East Region.
It is expected that when the road is completed, economic activities will be improved in the surrounding communities, facilitate easy movement of goods and people, create jobs, enhance health and education delivery, and other social amenities.
Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1Mhz|Joshua Asaah|Bolgatanga|Ghana