It would be recalled that there was a brouhaha in the Upper East Region surrounding the work on the Bolgatanga-Bawku-Polimakom road. The debate was 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 significant conversation in the region, with many questioning the location of the contractor and the reasons for the abandonment of the 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, stated that the constructor had packed out of the site because of the NPP government’s failure to honor all financial obligations to the contractor executing the 117.9-kilometer road.
However, in a counter press conference by the NPP Communication Directorate, addressed by the Regional Communication Director, Peter Ayinbisa Ayamga, the claims of the NDC 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 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 fulfill 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 the site, that is basically the reason.”
The government has reassured the people of the Upper East Region that work on the Bolgatanga-Bawku-Pulmakom road will begin in earnest. This is after the government concluded all issues and delays associated with external debt restructuring.
This was contained in the highlights of the 2024 Budget and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana for the 2024 financial year, presented to Parliament on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, by Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister for Finance.
“The government is working assiduously to resolve the challenges resulting from the ongoing external debt restructuring under the IMF Programme to ensure that contractors return to site as soon as possible on the underlisted projects: La Beach Road Completion Project, Phase 2 (Coastal & Meridian Roads- Nungua Barrier to Tema- 10.60km), Design and Construction of Obetsebi Lamptey Interchange and Ancillary Works Phase 2, Design, Supply and Installation of 50No. Steel Composite Czech Bridges 86%, Construction of Sunyani and Berekum Inner City Roads (39km) 81%, Construction of Kwame Nkrumah Interchange PTC,Takoradi, Lot 4 – Sinohydro 80%, La Beach Road Completion Project, Lot 1 (16.00km) Tema Road: Independence Arch to Nungua Barrier – 16.00km 79%, Construction of Bolgatanga – Bawku – Polimakom (116.1km) 72%, Design and Construction of Tema – Aflao Phase 1 (17km) (Interchange & Service Roads) 30%, Construction of Kumasi Inner City Roads (100km) 20% 10 Upgrading of Eastern Corridor Road LOT1 – Construction of Ashiaman Roundabout – Akosombo (64km) 16% and Design And Construction of Tamale – Walewale Phase 1 Savelugu to Walewale (Km 30 – 113) (83km) 10%.”
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana