Regional News of 2014-03-26

Govt seeks partnership for Accra-Kumasi super highway

The government is seeking private sector funding to construct a super highway between Accra and Kumasi, President John Dramani Mahama has announced.

Addressing the Eastern Regional House of Chiefs in Koforidua yesterday as part of his two-day working visit to the region, the president said a transaction adviser had been sought and the procurement process was going on and expressed the hope that the project would go before Parliament this year.

He stated that a number of toll bridges would be put on the highway to repay the cost.

Project delays

Explaining why a number of roads, including the Nsawam-Apedwa section of the Accra-Kumasi road, had delayed, President Mahama said it was because they were wholly funded by the Government of Ghana (GoG).

Such major road projects, he noted, tended to delay when they were funded by the GoG because of the pressure on the national budget.

That was why the government had resolved to do away with the practice and seek external funding or private-public partnerships (PPPs) to undertake such projects.

Road investment

Mr Mahama said the government was going to invest heavily in road construction in the next three years.

Among the roads in the Eastern Region to be tackled are the Asamankese-Akwatia-Kade-Oda road, Kyebi area roads and Yilo and Somanya area roads.

He stated that the contractor working on the Nsawam-Apedwa road had been advised to complete one section of the dual carriageway, so that it would bring some comfort to commuters as efforts were made to complete the entire project.

President Mahama said the government was committed to deepening the decentralisation process because that was one sure way of bringing development down to the people.

Election of MMDCEs

Mr Mahama expressed his support for proposals for the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs).

He said the Cabinet would, tomorrow, meet to approve the proposals made by the Constitutional Review Commission.

The president urged the chiefs to take a keen interest in the activities of schools in their communities, so that the right things would be done in the schools.

Welcoming the President to the house, the Okyenhene and President of the house, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, called on Ghanaians to support the President to achieve his dreams for the nation.

Akuapem Akropong

The President had earlier assured the people of the Akuapem Ridge that the perennial water problem of the area would be solved soon when expansion works on the Kpong water treatment plant were completed by the end of the year.

He said on completion, the project would pump 40 million gallons of water a day and a significant number of communities, including those on the Akuapem Ridge, would benefit.

President Mahama was speaking at a mini- durbar organised in his honour at Akropong Akuapem at the start of his two-day working visit to the Eastern Region.

He said campaign promises he made, for which the people of Ghana elected him in 2012, would be fulfilled by the end of 2016.

Systematically, he said, some of the promises were seeing the light of day, an indication that the country was treading on a path of progress. He mentioned the beginning of work on the community senior high schools as another sign of good things to come. Mr Mahama expressed delight at the peace that had returned to Okuapeman after a protracted chieftaincy dispute that saw some of the divisions of the Akuapem State breaking away. The president was welcomed by the Okuapehene, Oseadeeyo Addo Dankwa III.