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Regional News of Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Source: Al-hajj

Suhum Road Will Be Completed

-Before the end of this year

Deputy Chief of Staff Jonny Osei Kofi has assured that ongoing construction works on the Teacher-Mante-Suhum-Apedwa stretch of the Accra-Kumasi Highway will be completed by the end of this year.
According to him the rate of work on that stretch of the road following complains by the overlord of the Ashanti Kingdom, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and Chiefs from the Eastern regional House of Chiefs and indeed Ghanaians in general; “by the end of this year the Suhum section of the road will be completed.”
Reacting to The aL-hAJJ’s last week publication that failure of the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress government to complete construction works on the Suhum stretch of the Accra-Kumasi highway could wreck havoc to its chances in the 2016 elections, Mr Jonny Osei Kofi noted that the completion of the road is dear to the heart of the President.
“Those who have used that road recently can confirm that work is progressing on the roads steadily…there has been great improvement and the rate of work on that road after Otumfuo and the Eastern region chiefs complained shows that it would be completed by the end of this year,” he stated in a telephone interview.
The deputy Chief of Staff, who until his appointment was deputy minister of Works and Housing, noted that President John Mahama attaches all the seriousness needed to complete that road.
“The President, just like his predecessor, is committed to getting that road fixed on time. A lot of work has been done …the bulk of work now is at the Suhum overpass; even that place work is progressing steadily and with what I saw when I used the road last week and the assurance the contractor has given us, I can confidently say it will be completed by end of this year,” he added.
Revealing how the Mahama-led government is committed to constructing the road, Jonny Osei stated, “I have asked the deputy Minister of Roads and Highways to furnish me with month by month breakdown of work that will be done on that stretch of the road…we are working and hopefully we will complete it on time.
The aL-hAJJ last week reported the sorry state of the Teacher-Mante-Suhum-Apedwa stretch of the Accra-Kumasi Highway and how it could cost the second term bid of President Mahama and the NDC if it is not completed despite its impressive performance in areas such as provision of water, access to health care, road infrastructure and the expected permanent solution to the agonizing power rationing.
The terrible shape of that stretch of road, daily used by thousands of Ghanaians and non Ghanaians alike, is causing needless delay and discomfort to passengers and drivers and, as The aL-hAJJ’s findings have revealed, is likely to overshadow all the otherwise impressive achievements by government.
Work on the road was said to have slow down following the death of President John Mills, who was said to have attached so much importance to its completion, perhaps, because it is the main link between the south and the northern part of Ghana and even the country's Sahelian neighbors of Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.
The terrible state of the 31.7 kilometer road, which is the last of the 252-kilometre Accra-Kumasi Highway, started by John Agyekum Kufuor government was expected to be completed by the late John Mills' administration in 2012. However, almost into mid 2015, the deplorable nature of the Suhum portion of the highway leaves much to be desire.
Many have expressed extreme unhappiness at the appalling nature of the road and the challenges it poses to social and economic development, particularly to communities in the area, and the inconvenience it is causing to passengers leading to many drivers resorting to diverting their routes. Commuters on the Suhum-Nsawam road have had cause to complain about its terrible condition with commercial drivers who ply that route bearing the most brunt as their vehicle parts get damaged frequently and also severely affecting economic activities.

But the deputy Chief of Staff assured that “all is being done to complete the road by end of this year. It’s just a small portion of it and it will be completed by the end of this year. As soon as we finish that part, we will start working on the Kumasi stretch.”
He explained that there are parts of the road that was constructed under the Kufuor government that was not done properly, adding “those parts there were not done properly will all be reconstructed.”