Residents of the Nkwanta North constituency of the Volta region took advantage of President John Mahama's campaign tour to the area Tuesday to drive home their demand for the completion of the Damanko-Kpassa-Nkwanta section of the eastern corridor road.
The road, which connects the Nkwanta North and South constituencies to parts of the Northern region, was awarded to a Chinese contractor in 2014. But no major improvement has been seen on the road since then, as the contractor abandoned the project.
In a move to draw the President and his entourage's attention to the deplorable state of the road, some residents mounted signage with the inscription, 'No road, No votes' on the Nkwanta to Kpassa section of the road.
"Our only problem here is the road and we want the president to do something urgently about it for us. We know the government has done many projects for us, except the road which is yet to be done, so I'm pleading with the president to help us, because we are suffering," a resident told Starr News' Lambert Atsivor.
The chief of Kpassa, Ubor Konja Tanjan, reiterated the concerns of the residents at a durbar with Mahama and appealed to him to expedite work on that section of the eastern corridor road, as well as the road from Kpassa to Tinjase.
"There is the need for urgent action to be taken on the 25km Kpassa stretch of the eastern corridor road. This concern becomes more alarming, especially when the Dodo-Pepesu to Nkwanta section have been completed and the Damanko to Bimbilla section is seriously being worked on," the chief noted.
The chief, however, commended government for giving them a share of the 'changing lives, transforming Ghana' but also requested for a district hospital and an office complex for the Nkwanta North district assembly.
Responding to the concerns, President Mahama blamed the Chinese contractor for the delay in the completion of the Kpassa section of the eastern corridor project and directed the Roads and Highways ministry to terminate the contract and re-award it to a competent contractor to work on.
He also issued a two-week ultimatum to the contractor working on the Kpassa to Tinjase road to return to site or risk losing the contract.
"Your roads are very important to us not just those of you living here, because the yam we eat in Accra, is cart from this area. So if we don't fix the roads, how can we get the yam and other food crops to eat? That's why I have asked the road ministry to take away the project from the Chinese firm and get another contractor to complete it," he assured.
He added: "This time, we have become very firm on contractors working on government projects in the country. And so we won't tolerate any contractor who fails to meet project timelines."
President Mahama also promised to provide district hospitals and office complex for district assemblies without any such facilities in his second term of office.