Flagstaff House Rubbishes NPP & AFAG

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Says we are not interested in kickbacks, but quality work

The seat of the government, has vehemently denied claims by the pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) pressure group, Alliance For Accountable Government (AFAG) that, it inflated the cost of putting up the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, as well as Kasoa Interchange by 32 million Euros and US$140 million, respectively.

According to the Flagstaff House, the projects unlike the Sofo Line Interchange in Kumasi -Ashanti Region, the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, the N1 Highway and the Legon-Madina-Adenta roads, have taken into consideration the needs of the people, the attitude, quality of work and safety of both users and residents living along it.

They were emphatic that, most roads designed and constructed under the Kufuor regime, have gaping defects, hence the massive traffic jams and numerous loss of lives.

Officials inside the Flagstaff House, who were very instrumental in the planning and design of the projects, have told The Herald that they do not know how to inflate prices of goods and service or collect kickbacks from contractors as confessed by Haruna Esseku, one-time NPP National Chairman, who said that former President John Kufuor was collecting and hijacking kickbacks from contractors at the Osu Castle.

AFAG, last Tuesday accused the government of engaging in corrupt practices, which it intends to demonstrate against on Thursday.

At a press conference held at the Obra Spot in Accra, near the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange, the Chairman of AFAG, Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie, described President John Mahama as “opportunistic,” with a government that was killing Ghanaians.

He claimed that “the interchange out there, when we are struggling, the cost of this project originally is €46million but we are being made to understand its €78million. The approved and new interchange at Kasoa to cost $174million whilst the experts say it cost only $32million, mass corruption all over.”

The Flagstaff House officials, told The Herald that the cost of the two projects being executed by the Brazilian company; Queiroz Galvao, in addition to the Tamale Airport, went through various vetting processes at the Ministry of Finance and Public Procurement Authority, before approvals were given for the commencement of work.

They challenged Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie and his colleague AFAG members, to give a detailed breakdown of prices of the projects, quality of work among other things for the appreciation of Ghanaians.

It was revealed that the various Brazilian companies that have come to Ghana, came on their own volition after the 2011 trip to Brazil by the then Vice-President, John Mahama at the instance of President, John Evans Atta Mills.

According to the insiders, during the trip, Mr. Mahama, took time and explained the various projects to the various companies and ended up submitting a list of priority projects to the various companies. Three companies followed up to Ghana and started their own feasibility studies, which culminated into the various projects ongoing.

The companies include; Andrade Gutierrez Group, Odebrecht and Queiroz Galvao, who are in the country with their own sources of funding, as well as securing loan from
Brazil Exim Bank, sometimes with Counterpart Funding from the Government of Ghana (GoG).

The officials took issues with projects such as the Sofo Line Interchange in Kumasi -Ashanti Region, the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, the N1 Highway and Legon-Madina-Adenta roads, which were planned, designed and commenced under the Kufuor regime saying, the projects lacked meaning.

On the Sofo Line Interchange in Kumasi, the Kufuor government only sought to construct the biggest Interchange in West Africa, without cost and regards to the residents living in the area, hence sometime you travel on the road without knowing where it is taking you.

On the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, whose original design was altered by the Kufuor government, the Flagstaff House officials told The Herald that the Kufuor regime, only put up a structure claiming it was West Africa’s biggest Roundabout, not something to resolve the huge traffic jam on the Madina-Legon -37-Accra road or the Tema-Accra.

They insisted that nothing was addressed, and it has taken both the Mills and Mahama regimes lot of sleepless nights and heavy financial stress to correct the defects on the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange to ease traffic to and from the Spintex Road, as well as Tema.

They hinted that maybe sooner or later, the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange, could be razed down for a proper Interchange to be constructed to cut down on the hours spent on the road and it attendant stress.

On the Legon-Madina-Adenta-Maafe road and the N1 Highway, the Flagstaff House, was of the view that the designer and constructors of the two roads, did not take into account, the attitude and wellbeing of the residents, hence the absence of footbridges and various bus lanes, leading to the numerous accidents and deaths recorded on those roads.

To them, residents crossing these roads at various places at the peril of their lives, means that they are resisting something or telling the contractors, they did not do a good job. They should have at least constructed pedestrian footbridges to protect lives and also ease traffic.

More to come!

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