Akufo-Addo, Mahama exchange blows over infrastructure development
Former president John Mahama touted his infrastructure plan in the Western region as one of NDC’s key achievements, but President Akufo-Addo says it was all a “deception.”
Chiefs in Sefwi Wiawso complained to Akufo-Addo that poor roads in the region, which holds a large bulk of the country’s cocoa, is limiting them access to other parts of the country. In an address to residents, the President said Mahama’s so-called unprecedented road infrastructure is all “a façade."
Mahama, however, refuted Akufo-Addo’s remarks. At the latest NDC’s Unity Walk in the Volta region, he said the current administration is needlessly squandering the nation’s money.
“The most shocking is they are cutting sod for projects we cut the sod for already,” said Mahama, who was referring to a sod cutting ceremony Akufo-Addo attended to commence work of the Kumasi Airport.
Mahama said that in 2016, he was granted €65 million to build an airport in Kumasi, which Parliament approved, but he says Akufo-Addo came in, gutted the project, and hired new contractors with new money to complete the same job.
“What a waste of national resources,” Mahama said.
In a statement released by the Minority Caucus in Parliament, it reads that the project is a "smack of desperation and are symptomatic of a government that has nothing to show for the billions of Ghana Cedis it has borrowed since January 2017."
Read the full statement here:
STATEMENT BY MINORITY IN PARLIAMENT ON PURPORTED SOD CUTTING FOR WORK ON KUMASI AIRPORT PHASE II
The Minority Caucus in Parliament has received with shock and bewilderment, news that President Akufo Addo will cut the sod for work on the second phase of the Kumasi International Airport.
The purported sod cutting by the President would amount to a needless waste of time and scarce national resources in view of the fact that his predecessor, President John Dramani Mahama, performed the same ceremony on 5th December 2016.
President Mahama performed the ceremony after securing parliamentary approval of a loan of 65,037,500 Euros from Banco Santander S.A. and export credit support from the United Kingdom Export Finance Agency, for onward lending in the sum of 7,762,500 Euros, to the Ghana Airports Company Limited, in November 2016.
This was preceded by Cabinet and PPA approvals.
We note that the same contractor with whom an agreement was entered in 2016 to execute the project has been retained for the project. We find it inexplicable, therefore, that the President would waste scarce national resources only to perform a ceremony that has already been undertaken by his processor.
This sort of conduct smacks of desperation and are symptomatic of a government that has nothing to show for the billions of Ghana Cedis it has borrowed since January 2017.
The Minority caucus in Parliament deplores this level of populism and shallow opportunism through which the Akufo Addo government seeks to take undue credit for the work of others.
We wish to also put on record that similar work was done by the NDC government under President Mahama in respect of the Tamale Airport and we expect that the Akufo Addo government will go through the motions and formalities to ensure the commencement of work on phase two of that project.
About $ 150 million was approved by Parliament in November 2016 for the execution of the second phase for the project following the completion of the first which saw the extension of the runway.
Hon Kwame Governs Agbodza
MP for Adaklu and Ranking Member on Road and Transport Committee of Parliament.