Former Volta Regional Minister, Helen Adjoa Ntoso has heavily criticised Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Ata for deliberately failing to capture roads to be constructed in the Volta Region in the 2020 budget.
The 2020 budget Mr Ofori-Ata presented to Parliament on Wednesday did not mention the allocation of funds for the rehabilitation of critical road projects in 2020 – the year the Akufo-Addo government has christened ‘year of roads.’
“Mr. Speaker we have identified critical roads across each of the 16 regions and construction would begin on all these critical roads soon… Mr. Speaker with this large number of roads to be constructed, the year 2020 can aptly be described as “The Year of Roads” along with a focus on all our flagship programmes,” the Finance Minister said adding that government will pay 80% of all contractors to get the road sector moving.
But North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, few hours after the budget was presented, raised serious concerns on Facebook over the omission of critical roads from the budget and asked how the government could justify what he described as an “aberration.”
Despite the Volta Caucus in the law making chamber calling for an apology from the government in the next 24 hours, Mrs. Ntoso who spoke on Power 97.9 FM‘s Dwaboase Friday morning argued that no explanation from the government could justify the neglect of the people of the Volta and Oti Regions.
“The government does not care about the people of the Volta Region, and the 2020 budget has justified it clearly,” the former Eastern Regional Minister told host Kwame Minkah while explaining that there are many roads in the Volta and Oti regions that need urgent attention.
The Krachi West MP mentioned that there are extremely bad roads that lead to the Volta Regional capital, Ho, which the President and Roads Minister are familiar with after using them during their tour of the region hence the failure to capture critical roads for construction in the region cannot be a mere oversight.
The Oti Region, Madam Ntoso noted, has numerous bad roads that should have been captured in the 2020 budget for rehabilitation, especially as a lot of road projects under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration were put on hold for 2 years by the current government, pending the results of audits to ascertain whether due processes were followed in the award of those contracts.
Some of the abandoned roads that have become a major concern to the people are Jasican-Kejebi, Nkwanta-Kpassa, Nkwanta–Dambai, Peki through Kpeve–Hohoe roads that form part of the Eastern Corridor Road Project.