Who Must Be Credited? …In Tema Motorway Interchange Opening!

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The well-orchestrated game plan by the government to discredit former President John Dramani Mahama over important projects is becoming a weak deal as Ghanaians have seen the truth about te former resident’s development projects.

The agenda engaged by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) with pomp and pageantry to open the ultra-modern refurbished Tema Motorway Interchange could not materialize because it had become obvious as to how the project came about.

The Inquisitor, without any fear of contradiction, has it that the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo administration wanted to cancel that project, but a powerful traditional ruler advised the government against that decision.

At the time close relatives of the new President, who are running the show, had run to that powerful traditional ruler with an excuse that the cost of the Tema Motorway Interchange had been inflated and must therefore be cancelled.

The Inquisitor has it that the sinister agenda was scuttled by the traditional rulers, who sarcastically advised the new President and his relatives to also shop for projects and inflate the costs.

The Tema Motorway Interchange project started in 2015 through a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) funding, under the erstwhile administration of John Dramani Mahama.

“The Ministry of Roads and Highways, acting through the Ghana Highway Authority, wishes to inform motorists and the general public that, the newly constructed Tema Motorway Grade Separated Interchange will be opened to traffic from Saturday, 16th May 2020,” the GHA said in a statement.

The $57million project had a June 6, 2020 deadline, but has been completed before the scheduled date.

This commissioning was set to spark off an intense debate between the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the NPP over who should be credited with the project.

Available documentation on the project, in possession of The Inquisitor, points to the fact that it was initiated in 2015, when JICA wrote on February 3, 2015, that it was sending through a team of engineers and project managers to evaluate the problematic Tema Motorway. The mission was supposed to have lasted 20 months, after which the project was supposed to commence.

According to the project timeline, after the Mahama administration had initiated the project with JICA, a Preparatory Survey Report was submitted on September 1, 2016, and by November 2016 the design outline from JICA was completed.

In March 2017, the grant aid agreement was signed and on April 3, 2017, the Preparatory Final Report was submitted by CTJ Engineering, the engineering company contracted for the project.

The NDC Minority in Parliament had issued a statement warning the governing NPP not to attempt to take credit for the project.

“The Minority in Parliament has observed a deliberate attempt by President Akufo-Addo’s government to systematically ignore the significant roles played by President Mahama in the provision of the latest stock of important infrastructure constructed across the country,” read a statement issued today by the Minority.

“The current NPP government has a history of and a penchant for claiming ownership of projects and programs initiated by its predecessor, the NDC. As a matter of fact, where they can’t claim undue credit, they adopt disinformation around the project. This attitude manifested, when the World-Class Terminal 3 at the Kotoka International Airport was completed,” said the statement, signed by Kwame Agbodza, the NDC Ranking Member –Road and Transport Committee of Parliament.

In an attempt to cement its hold on the project, the Minority issued felicitations to the Japanese government and all the stakeholders that made the project a reality.

“We wish to take the opportunity to thank the Government of Japan for its continuous support to many critical Infrastructural projects in the Roads Sector. We specifically thank them for providing the equivalent of $55.6m for the Tema Motorway Interchange and another $110m for the Volivo Bridge over River Volta on the new alignment of the Eastern Corridor road, which approvals were made in 2016. We shall continue to play our role as a Minority by demanding transparency in the governance of our country and urge the public to adhere to the traffic directions provided by the Ghana Highways Authority,” the Minority statement said.

The second phase of the project, which was signed by the current administration, is expected to commence soon.

The government has discontinued with some bypasses and interchanges that were part of the Motorway expansion project, initiated by the Mahama administration.Who Must Be Credited?