You said ‘we don’t eat roads’ but now grabbing KVIPS as achievement – Mahama, as he dares Akufo-Addo to a debate

Former President John Mahama has said President Nana Akufo-Addo and his government are now going about grabbing the littlest thing that passes for infrastructure to show to Ghanaians as part of their achievements even though in opposition, they ridiculed infrastructural development.

Speaking at Ho West in the Volta Region where he has been on a four-day tour, the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) recalled: “In 2016, when I was talking about the value of infrastructure, my friends on the other side said: ‘We don’t eat infrastructure’, ‘we don’t eat roads’”.

“That was what they said” but “today, I can see a scramble to grab even KVIPs and any infrastructure and tout it as an achievement”, Mr Mahama told supporters of the biggest opposition party.

To settle the matter, the former President dared his opposite number to a debate.

“…It’s easy to settle the issue of infrastructure”, he said, adding: “After all, the President said this election is going to be an election of track records; comparing his track records to my track records”.

“We can settle it easily: Let’s have a debate between the two of us”, he challenged the President.

“Let Nana Akufo-Addo come and sit down, let me sit down and let’s debate our records”, Mr Mahama said.

“I am willing to present myself for a debate with President Nana Akufo-Addo any day, anytime, anywhere and we will settle the matter once and for all”, he noted.

On Tuesday, 18 August 2020, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia said no government in the history of Ghana’s fourth republic has initiated more infrastructural projects than the Akufo-Addo government, describing the record as “second to none, with verifiable data to back up my claim”.

“The investment in infrastructure by the NPP government over the last three years has been massive. I dare say our investment in infrastructure, our infrastructure record is second to none for any government in its first term under the Fourth Republic,” Dr Bawumia stated at a virtual town hall meeting in Accra.

He said: “Notwithstanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the completion times of some projects, the data indicates that in the fourth republic, no government has achieved as much in its first term of office in terms of infrastructure projects it initiated its first term as the NPP government of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.”

The Vice President said in three-and-a-half years, the Akufo-Addo administration has implemented different infrastructure programmes across various sectors in line with the government’s agenda to ensure inclusive and accelerated economic development.

As a result, he noted, “about 17,334 individual projects have been started since January 2017. We have completed a total number of 8,746 projects throughout the country. A further 8,588 projects are at different stages of completion throughout the country”.

“This is consistent with our strategic orientation to ensure the development of broad-based, wide-scale infrastructure, taking place in every district across the country instead of a few big infrastructure projects in a few cities.”

Dr Bawumia revealed that a total of 1,927 road projects have been undertaken across the country since 2017.

Out of that, 1,307 of them are completed while 620 are currently under construction.

The government, he noted, “has selected three critical roads in every region. Work is ongoing on all these critical roads and are at various stages of completion, including the famous Eastern Corridor road, for example Jasikan-Dodo-Pepesu road, Bolga-Bawku (80% complete) and Lawra-Hamile (complete)”.

“In the urban areas, across the country, since the beginning of 2017, we have done 589 km of Asphalt Overlay, rehabilitating and upgrading of 143.61 km of roads, reconstruction of 97.8 km and resealing of 48.82 km of roads across the country.

“Four state-of-the-art interchanges are also under construction: The Tema Interchange, where the loan, sod-cutting and completion were executed by this government; Tamale interchange under the Sinohydro Programme, the first-ever interchange in the northern sector of the country (44% complete and expected to be completed by the middle of 2021); Pokuase interchange (the first four-tier interchange in West Africa – 75% complete.

“The, loan agreement for this (Pokuase interchange) project was signed in November 2016 for a three-tier interchange. We subsequently renegotiated for a four-tier interchange without any increase in cost.

“The Obetsebi Lamptey interchange is 55% complete. As well, the sod has just been cut for the Nungua Interchange.

“This is the highest number of interchanges (5) being constructed in the first term of any government since independence. A sixth interchange, the PTC interchange in Takoradi (the first interchange in the Western Region) will start in early September.”

“It is important to note that the cost of the Tema, Pokuase, Tamale, and Obetsebi Lamptey interchanges total $289 million while the Kwame Nkrumah interchange was constructed at a cost of $270 million”, Dr Bawumia contrasted.

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