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Politics of Tuesday, 25 February 2020


Akufo-Addo’s ‘year of roads’ promise total deception – Caeser

Kale Caeser, former presidential staffer Kale Caeser, former presidential staffer

A Deputy Director of Research for the opposition NDC, Kale Caeser has made a mockery of the government’s determination to construct more roads in the country this year, to help boost the economy.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last week reiterated his commitment to make 2020 a year of roads when he was delivering the state of the nation address.

But Mr Caeser, a former Deputy Upper West regional minister, argued that the president said that to deceive Ghanaians to vote for him again in the December elections.

“You came to power three years ago but didn’t see the need to embark on remarkable road projects but now that you realise you have few months to be booted out of power, you turn around to engage in slogans and declare this year a year of roads,” the NDC official told Weekend Focus host Kwame Minkah on Power 97.9 FM on Saturday.

Presenting the 2020 Budget Statement to Parliament on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, said the government had committed enough funds to the roads sector and explained that Ghana would see a massive road construction project in 2020, describing the coming year as “The Year of Roads.”

He explained that the Government would get contractors back to work and get the road sector moving, pledging to pay 80% of all contractors.

Announcing that Cocobod had secured funds to continue with “ongoing and new cocoa roads”, Mr Ofori-Atta occasionally jibed the previous NDC Government, saying “Mr. Speaker, Ghanaians want action on our roads, not words or plans or Green Book claims about what has been done. We intend to swing into action and let our work do the talking for us.”

However, Mr Caeser disclosed that the opposition party has made a finding into the claim by the Finance Minister and has realised it cannot be achieved.

He said the government owed most of the road contractors contrary to claim that the Akufo-Addo administration has settled those debts.

“You owe contractors to the tune of billions of cedis thereby grounding their businesses; so I ask who are they going to hire to construct such roads?” He quizzed.

One of the remarkable road projects that Ghanaians would have remembered the Akufo-Addo government for would have been the Oforikrom and Shame interchange projects in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi, but those projects have been cancelled.

Despite capturing the projects in 2020, the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako-Atta announced recently that the NPP government would not be able to begin the construction of the interchange at both locations except in Akufo-Addo’s second term.

On the back of this, the NDC believes Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo can not match former President John Dramani Mahama in terms of infrastructural projects.