The brouhaha in the Upper East Region, for the past two weeks, surrounding the work on the Bolgatanga-Bawku-Polimakom road has been put to rest by the Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways, Stephen Pambiin Jalulah.
The visible absence of the contractor on the stretch of road generated a big conversation in the region with many questioning the location of the contractor, and the reasons for the abandonment of site.
At a press conference, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the region lamented profusely over the abandonment of the project by the Queiroz Galvao MI Brazilian construction firm working on the road.
The NDC, in its press conference about the project, said the constructor had packed out of site because of the NPP government’s failure to honour all financial obligations to the contractor executing the 117.9 kilometre road.
But in a counter press conference by the NPP Communication Directorate, addressed by the Regional Communication Director, Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga, the claims of the NDC’s were heavily refuted.
But in an exclusive interview with Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show, in order to bring finality to the controversies, the Deputy Roads and Highways Minister and Member of Parliament for Pru West, Stephen Pambiin Jalulah tied the absence of the contractor to the government’s inability to meet financial obligations.
According to Mr. Jalulah, the government has not been able to settle with the foreign financial institutions that are supporting the government of Ghana to be able to construct these major roads across the country.
“Because the government has not paid its obligations to the bank and other financial institutions, they have not also been able to fulfil their obligations to the contractors that are working on our roads. I want your listeners to know that we have different sources of funding for projects in Ghana, and most of the roads involve a lot of investment. We normally do not have the money, so we have to go outside the country to borrow from banks and pay interest on this money. The Bolga Bawku Polimakom road is one of such projects, so the government went outside to look for money to come and do the road.”
“So because the government has stopped paying interest on its loans to all foreign banks and financial institutions, those banks are not also able to supply or give money to the contractors who are working on our roads across the country. so if you have noticed that a contractor has left site, that is basically the reason.”
The Deputy Minister, Mr. Jalulah, also noted that the government is currently engaging with the financial institutions, and by the end of March 2023, the government would conclude negotiations with the banks and the way forward would be known. The Pru West MP assured the people of the Upper East Region that the Bolgatanga Bawku Polimakom road is of concern to the Akufo Addo government and it will be completed.