The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo must grow out of the pettiness and deceptive politics that has been associated with his tenure. The pettiness and deception is profoundly manifest in his conduct when it comes to the handling of projects started by the NDC government under President John Mahama.
We are appalled that HE Nana Addo is billed to cut sod today, 1st September, 2020 for the construction of the Sokode Etoe-Adaklu bypass and UHAS internal roads; which roads have been under construction since 2012. It has been the stock-in-trade of this government to dabble in acts that tend to deceive unsuspecting citizens. When this government assumed the reins of power in 2017, the government cut sod for an existing Sokode-Ho dual carriage road project which started in 2016. Indeed, First Sky Ltd, had already constructed a number bridges on the stretch of the road all the way from UHAS campus to Adaklu Titrinu and had raised certificate for works done, to the tune of GHS24 Million in 2017. The Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government refused to honour the certificate until August 2020.
The UHAS internal roads were under construction by USSUYA Construction Ltd way back in 2015. Driving from Adaklu Kodzobi to the University of Health and Allied Sciences, USSUYA had tarred and built drains on a segment of the road leading to the campus. This is another evidence that works on the University road was already ongoing before Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assumed office to order all contractors to stop work, so his government could undertake an audit of all contracts awarded by the John Dramani Mahama’s government. That was in the year 2017. It beggars belief, for the same Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who caused the projects to delay for over three years, to now be seen to be cutting sod for the same roads in September 2020 as if they were new projects. One would have expected an apology from him instead.
It is therefore not surprising that H.E. Nana Addo is running away from the challenge thrown to him by President Mahama for the duo to debate their infrastructural records. This government has little to show for the enormous resources made of loans, grants, tax and non-tax revenues that it has had access to for the last four years. The sod cutting aimed at luring the uninformed minds must stop for it is all a façade. The government knows that it has done next to nothing in the Volta region, is employing shenanigans to gain political advantage. The president’s action only feeds into why the Volta region was excluded from the 2020 roads budget. Volta region was left out of the budget advertently, else the president would not be cutting sod for an ongoing project which the same government abandoned since it won power.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP in 2016, chastised HE John Dramani Mahama for cutting sod for same projects in an election. We are utterly gobsmacked to see the same Nana Addo, desperately “re-cutting” sod for the very project his government failed to continue with for a whole political term of four years. Having accused your predecessor for doing so in an election year in 2016, does it not strike any of his litany of advisors that, Nana Addo must not be seen cutting sod for John Dramani Mahama’s projects, when he has barely three months to be kicked out of power?
Hon Benjamin Komla Kpodo has always dreamt of a ring road to connect all the towns in the Ho Municipality, starting from Sokode through Ho, Hodzo, Tokokoe, Nyive, Avee, Lume, Matse, Akrofu and back to Sokode. A lot of lobbying and work culminated in the Sokode-Ho dual carriageway taking off under John Mahama. The same goes for the bypass from UHAS Junction to Titrinu, the road connecting Lume and surrounding towns to the proposed ring road. One such major road is the one from Volta Barracks-Kpenoe-Takla-Hodzo-Tokokoe. Indeed the Mills government constructed the Ho-Akoefe-Tanyigbe-Tokokoe-Nyive-Shia-Avee-Lume etc roads. The only major road left in that enclave was the one from Barracks through Hodzo to Tokokoe. Before Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo came to power, the said road was 70% complete. The contractor had built all the drains, gravelled and ramped the road, only waiting to pour chippings and bitumen. Just as First Sky Ltd and USSUYA above, he also raised certificate for work done and was ordered to stop work. His money never got paid from 2017 till date. He was left with no option but to leave the site for the road to deteriorate. I drove on the road early September from Ho to Tokokoe. I am really sad for Ghana.
The Nana Addo government has no plans for the Volta region when it comes to roads and must desist from the trickery forthwith. A case in point is the Keta Harbour, which he announced with all the pomp and pageantry in 2017 and went ahead to appoint a CEO for the port which is yet to be built – a nonexisting harbo? The most ridiculous of it was the sight of some placard-bearing citizens of only-God-knows-where at the 2020 Independence Day celebrations in Kumasi, shamelessly thanking Nana Addo for building a harbour for the people of Keta- the fathom harbour? As we speak, not a single bag of Diamond cement has been poured anywhere near Keta, with the semblance of construction men working on the site. The only thing we can see at Keta, is the giant billboard by the road, advertising the nonexisting Keta Harbour for four years now. All this while, the CEO has been drawing hefty sums from the Consolidated Fund as salary, and all the allowance and others that go with it – all in the name of a nonexisting Keta Harbour. If this is not deception and pettiness, I wouldn’t how else to call it. Before you doubt anything I have said here, please do a careful reading of the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government’s 2020 budget and tell me if a pesewa has been devoted to the Keta Harbour or the name was even mentioned in passing.
The abandoned abattoir in Sokode Gbogame, is another classical example of the wickedness of this Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo government to the people of the Volta Region. Before he came to office, John Mahama had built the infrastructure for the abattoir. For four solid years, this NPP government has appointed two Municipal Chief Executives, but neither of them have any clue what to do to get the requisite equipment for the abattoir to take off. All the NPP apologists, including some very good friends of mine can give, is a litany of excuses, best described as mediocrity. Unfortunately, the local media too does not see the need to place the matter on the front burner, so the building remains in the bush for four years, as we continue to serve the people with meat slaughtered and dressed in the very place we have declared unsafe and unhygienic for human consumption. The implications for public health has been lost on even Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, a trained medical practitioner of nearly forty years, who is now the Regional Minister of Volta Region.
With the help of the government of Netherlands and another, a massive waste recycling plant was being constructed at Akrofu Agove, as a major solution to the age-long solid and liquid waste management challenges of the Ho Municipality. I shall not bore readers with the environmental and public implications of an intervention as this. Garbage is now considered as a resource by many. To have a system where we could turn our waste into money as a Municipality should have appealed to the senses of any well-meaning citizen of the Ho Municipality. Well, I cannot say the same for Dr Letsa, Pi-Bansah and those before him, all appointees of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the NPP, who have abandoned that project in the bush for four good years.
The NPP started what they claim is a youth sports centre on the Ho-Adaklu roads. That is one of the only two infrastructure projects Nana Addo can boast of in Ho. As we speak, the project has been long abandoned in the bush. As for the One Constituency One Million Dollar per year warehouse project they cut sod for in 2017, has not even taken off, three months to leaving office. I wonder what Ho Central Constituency would say our benefit of the whopping total (cumulative) $4 million (GHS 23,163,373.1) has been. Twenty-three Million, One Hundred and Sixty-one Thousand, Three Hundred and Seventy-three cedis and ten pesewas should have been what Ho Municipality would have received by now, if the promise made by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo were anything to go by. It has been proven beyond doubt that the One Constituency One Million Dollar per year was only a facade, nothing more.
By George Kwaku Yeboah // Columnist