Charges; ‘We Won’t Sit In Accra And Only Award Contracts’
By Gifty Arthur
The Minister for Roads and Highways, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, who is on a working visit inspecting roads under construction in various parts of the Northern Region, has expressed satisfaction about progress of work so far.
The Tamale Central Member of Parliament (MP), is accompanied by his directors, officials from highways, urban and feeder roads, has been in the Northern Ghana since Wednesday.
He charged that he and his officers, would not sit in the comfort of their Accra offices, award contracts, hoping that it would be completed on time and with perfection.
The minister said, they would rather be out and about inspecting the roads to ensure that contractors work according to plan.
Alhaji Fuseini, who commenced his tour on the popular Fufulso-Sawla road, was told by the Project Manager, Ashok Rambani, an India that the road which has been on the lips of many politicians and governments for decades, but never saw the light of day, was 87 percent complete, the road which is costing the tax payer GH¢166, 000,000, has been for ages being budgeted, but never seen the light of day.
A resident told this reporter that during the NPP era, machines were sent to site for construction to begin, but after they won the 2004 election, they came for the machines.
The road which indigenes say, has witnessed many sod-cutting from successive governments, is being funded with a loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
Contractors, Messier China International Waters and Electric Cooperation (CWE) and China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC), who were met on site, assured the Minister that the April 30, 2015; deadline will not be missed.
The 147.5 kilometer project, divided into two parts are Fufulso-Larabanga and Larabanga-Sawla groups, comes with several ancillary works categorized into health, education, markets, Lorry Park, grain store and water supply. It also includes a 6 kilometer road into Mole Park.
Towns to benefit from these additions are; Damongo, Jonokponto, Busunu, Kojope, Janikuraa Fufulso and Bonyanta, the hometown of President John Mahama’s mother.
At a village at Janipe on the Fufulso-Sawla road, the team observed a drain which was not properly done. The Minister tasked the contractors to ensure that the right thing was done.
He bluntly told Mr. Rambani, “where you are coming from you won’t do this”, and reiterated the need for the officials to do as agreed in the contract, telling him “we are building this road to last for a lifetime”.
At Larabanga where the team expressed delight about the nature of the road and progress so far, the DCE commended government for taken bold decision to contract the road.
He said, the road which has the famous Mystic Stone, Mole Game Park, Larabanga Ancient Mosque built in 1421, would enhance movement and economic activities. The media was told until the construction, many accidents were recorded on that stretch of road due to its deplorable nature.
Another resident told this paper that following the many sod-cuttings on that road, residents never believed it, when government in 2012, cut yet another sod to start work.
At the Ancient Mosque, where a Tourist Guide, Kamara briefed the entourage on the history of the historic building, the two Ministers, expressed the importance of the road, adding that it contraction will facilitate both local and foreign tourism.
The Regional Minister said, plans are far advanced to make the area very attractive to tourists, revealing that aside the first class road to link many towns and cities; a hotel is being built to accommodate future tourists.
Alhaji Fusieni, urged the Regional Minister and the DCE to put their heads together to ensure that the full benefit of tourism is derived from the area, concluding that, “tourism is one of the most effective ways to reduce unemployment”.
The team further moved to the Jakpa Palace to visit the founder of the Gonja Kingdom, Yagbonwura Tuntumba Boresa I.
The Yagbonwura said, although some are claiming they have not seen the work of President John Dramani Mahama, he is in the know of all his good work. He prayed for President Mahama, his Ministers and the entire government adding, he supports them to succeed.
In a response to plea by the king to government to compensate him over the road, Alhaji Fuseini, assured him that government would do what is necessary.
Other roads visited were, Old Garaga which was 100 percent completed and Domeabra JNC Kpasara Debre Feeder Road, which was 80 percent complete.
Roads inside of the University for Development Studies (UDS) and section of the road in front of the Tamale Teaching Hospital, were visited, and were at various stages.
Some of the roads though very motorable, has developed fault which Regional Director of Urban Roads, Alex Gogoe, suspected may be due to “bad workmanship, plastic deformation, heavy duty vehicles or heat.
He assured the Ministers that the defect would be corrected by the contractor with “premix asphalt”.
Alhaji Fuseini, was accompanied by the Northern Regional Minister, H. M. Limuna and District Chief Executive (DCE) of Gonga West, Ali Bakari Kassim.