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Opinions of Sunday, 18 October 2015

Columnist: Lungu, Prof.

Accra-Tema Motorway Still Is Another Kwame Nkrumah Sika Duro!

Right at the get-go, we can safely declare that corruption and lack of accountability are not elements in any Sika Duro (Money Magic Machine). Not for rational Africans who believe in their own country. In fact, they are surely far from values the People of Ghana as a group can depend on.

The last we checked, on 12 November last year, pressure group Alliance for Accountable Governances' (AFAG) sponsored “Aagbe Wo (They are killing us!) demonstration in Accra "against corruption and mismanagement" in Ghana. Among the complaints Dr Nana Afriyie of AFAG cited was, “corruption" being "more of the norm than the exception...":

"....While the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange cost $32 million, the Sofo Line interchange—the most intricate in Ghana—cost $38 million, and the N1 Highway with six lanes and two interchanges spanning from Tetteh Quarshie to Mallam cost $110 million...'However, that of Kasoa—a much smaller one—is to be constructed by a corrupt Brazilian company at $174m'...”.

In March of this year, 5 months after the AFAG demonstration, there was quite a bit of ruckus in the Parliament of Ghana over $29,000,000 million. You may recall $29M was spent by the NDC government to upgrade the existing 1,982M (6,502ft) asphalt runway at the regional airport in Kumasi. Actually, the upgrade of the runway cost $23,829,271. This means that for each 305 meters (1,000ft) of the one-way asphalt runway, Ghana shelled out $3,666,042.00 ($3.7M).

On the other hand, just last year, Ethiopian Airports Enterprise (EAE), the government agency responsible for Ethiopia’s airports signed three (3) contracts worth $68.5 million with three "local firms" to construct three (3) airport runways, each 2,500M*60M long/wide.


ACCRA-TEMA MOTORWAY: A KWAME NKRUMAH BEQUEATTED SOCIO-ECONOMIC JUGGANAUT OF A SIKA DURO NETWORK:

When the first leg of the Accra-Tema Motorway (ATM) was opened 6 months ahead of schedule 51 years, the 19,312m (12-mile) dual carriage highway was the first of its kind in all of West Africa.

It still is the only kind in Ghana, never yet duplicated. Still, other latter governments have spent a whole lot more money on transportation projects even by today's standards! (Keep track of our $29M).

Needless to say, the Accra-Tema Motorway has continued to be the busiest stretch of highway in Ghana, connecting cities, towns, and villages to Accra (the capital), and to Tema (the primary industrial hub of the country). Not only that, several countries, some of them landlocked (Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Mali, Nigeria, etc.), depend on the highway to/from the Tema Harbor for goods to/from Europe, Asia, the Americas, and Canada, etc.

In sum:

"...The economic importance of the motorway cannot be over emphasized as it is the main route for transporting goods to the Tema Harbour, and also passengers and goods to the Volta and Northern Regions from Accra, and countries east of Ghana. It is part of the (ECOWAS) Trans-West Africa highway network...from Senegal to Nigeria. The Motorway also carries traffic from Accra to Tema (Communities 21, 22, 25) and settlements and communities in Sakumono and Teshie-Nungua...A traffic study...for the Ministry of Roads and Highways in 2007 revealed that the total average annual daily traffic (AADT)...was 23,211...(W)hile the average national vehicular traffic growth is 15 percent, growth on the motorway corridor is more than 20 percent per annum...(composed of)...cars (47%)..., four wheel-drives (18%)...light buses (18%)...heavy buses and goods trucks (15%)...(Asante, 2009).

In fact, more recent estimates put the AADT at more than 30,000 vehicles. And as much as $2,900,000 in tolls alone are generated from all users of the highway, Ghanaian and non-Ghanaian, every year!

So, the Tema Harbor would never work without our ATM, another Kwame Nkrumah Sika Duro transportation segment and system, all rolled into one.

Significantly, the Tema Harbor accounts for about 69% of Ghana's total sea-land traffic. As such, we could reasonably estimate that more than 50% ($19 billion) of Ghana's GDP (consumption, investments, government expenditures, and net exports, directly or remotely related to maritime and land transport), most likely transit through the ATM that was procured by none other than Dr. Kwame Nkrumah and his CPP government.

But this essay is not just about the economic value of the Accra-Tema Motorway. Today, any village idiot understands what an original ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) does - give out money you yourself earned by working hard. The village idiot understands how the Accra-Tema Motorway is figuratively of that same kind, in very important, tangible respects - the highway gives Ghanaians uncounted, constant benefits because Nkrumah and his CPP government invested in a plan some said, and still say, produced prestige projects. (The benefits were tangible in 1964, and they are still tangible and substantial today).

As well, this essay is also not just about how the NLC (Nonentities, Liars, and Crooks) jettisoned Nkrumah's 7-Year Development Plan in 1966. We now know that they did not throw away prestige projects when they fabricated stories and destroyed national records and archives. When they threw away, among other elements, transportation and circulation plans that would have capitalized and built on the success of the Accra-Tema Motorway and given Ghana a national highway standard that would have largely prevented the traffic, circulation, and safety chaos currently bedeviling transportation and circulation in the Accra-Tema region, and in many other places in Ghana, today.

SIGNIFICANTLY, THIS ESSAY IS ALSO ABOUT OUR CONTINUING PROJECT TO PUT IN TRUE CONTEXT THE GHANA-CENTERED IDEAS (1) THAT COMPELLED NKRUMAH AND HIS CPP GOVERNMENT TO SPEND MONEY ON CERTAIN DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS, (2) WHAT THOSE FUNDS BOUGHT FOR GHANA, AND (3) WHAT HAS BEEN THE RECORD OF THE USEFUL LIFE OF THOSE FACILITIES AND PROGRAMS, AS MEASURED AGAINST WHAT OTHER GOVERNMENTS HAVE SPENT, TO WHAT COMPARATIVE EFFECT, AND LONGEVITY.

So, at the head of this essay, we noted that the upgrade of the 1,982m (6,502ft) runway at the Kumasi airport cost $23,829,271.00. As such, for each 305m (1,000ft) of the asphalt runway, Ghana shelled out $3,666,042.00. (Note that a runway is always a 1-Way Road, though reversible for operations, if necessary).

Now, our Kwame Nkrumah-era ATM is a dual-carriage portland concrete cement highway that was modeled after the Autobahn in Germany. It cost about GBP3,380,000.00 ($9,482,356.00) to construct during 1963-1964. Each "carriage way" is 19,312M (63,360ft) long. As such, there are approximately 63 1,000-footers (or 63 305M) each way. Suggests that for each 305m/1,000ftX2), Nkrumah's CPP paid just about $149,658).

So we do not lose the train, the NDC government paid $3,666,042 for 305M (1,000ft) of asphalt just yesterday. Under Kwame Nkrumah, the CPP paid $149,658 for double (2,000ft = 610m) extent, for a concrete pavement that has lasted more than 45 years, even little maintenance. So, if we had invested each $149,658 in 1964, we would have received about $1,148,721.00 just the other day when the ruckus was going on in Ghana's Parliament about the $29M.


THE NDC EXPENDITURE FOR 305M (1,000FT) ASPHALT RUNWAY EXTENT IS $2,517,320.00 MORE THAN THE EXPENDITURE INCURRED BY NKRUMAH FOR EACH 2,000FT (610M) ATM PORTLAND CEMENT CONCRETE PAVEMENT, EVEN BY TODAY'S RECORD INFLATION.

IN FACT, WE COULD HAVE INVESTED THE $9,482,356.00 NKRUMAH SPENT ON THE ATM TO RECEIVE JUST $72,783,200.00 (CUMMULATIVE RATE OF INFLATION = 667.6%) AT THE RUCKUS PARTY IN PARLIAMENT FOR THE KUMASI AIRPORT PAVEMENT LAST MARCH. BUT, IF WE HAD INVESTED THE $9,482,356.00, WE COULD NOT HAVE RECEIVED ALL THE ATM BENEFITS OVER THE LAST 51 YEARS.

Even village idiots understand that we can't have our egg, and eat it too!

So, for an estimate of the current value of our ATM that is linked to the Tema Harbor, how does $9.5 billion (just 50% of our $19 billion) each year since 1965, sound?

Now, the wiseacres will protest that we compared a roadway to a runway!

To that, we will say, "Nice try chum"!

Here is the deal.

You see, a concrete highway built to exact "State" concrete highway standards, as we strongly suspect was the case for the ATM, is good enough for most aircraft to safely land and take-off, if the concrete highway is of sufficient length, and debris and drainage are sufficiently managed. For this simple analysis, much of the difference will be related to (1) how much portland concrete cement is utilized in the mortar and (2) what the estimate is for the number of "Annual Departures" for the runway during its "useful life". (See FAA Advisory Circular under Notes and Sources).

To the point, most aircraft landing in Kumasi could also take-off on the Kwame Nkrumah ATM Sika Duro where there are straight segments equal to, or more than 1,982M (6502ft), if the roadway was cleared of all obstructions.

Conversely, as important as the regional airport in Kumasi is, even after the $29M expenditure, no one expects that it is now, or will soon be at the center of even 5% ($1,932M) of Ghana's annual economic output based on the number of jobs, the payroll, and output of the airport annually).

But, Nkrumah's crown jewel ATM Sika Duro, located next to the Tema Harbor, continues to shine ever brighter for Ghana, just like a real a real Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) - in every respect. All of that, despite decades of neglected maintenance, increasing hazards and risks for accidents, and failure by all governments after Nkrumah to replicate Ghana's Sika Duro autobahn, the Accra-Tema Motorway (ATM).

The Accra-Tema Motorway is still another Kwame Nkrumah Sika Duro bequeathed to Ghana by his CPP. It is one of many such prestige project all over Ghana!


Word!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


So it goes, Ghana!


NOTES & SOURCES
1. AFKINSIDER. Ethiopia To Build Three New Airports At A Cost Of $64.5M,
http://afkinsider.com/81901/ethiopia-build-three-new-airports-cost-64-5m/ .

2. GNA. Cabinet approves BOT arrangement for dualisation of the Accra-Kumasi trunk road, Business News, 5 December 2012

3. Daily Guide. Confusion over $29m Kumasi Airport project , General News, 27 March 2015.

4. Wikipedia, (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tema_Motorway).

5. US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Circular 150/5100-13B, http://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/150_5100_13b.pdf

6. Charles Kwaku Amoo-Asante. Tema Motorway – a reflection of failed policies, ModernGhana, 15 December 2009, (http://www.modernghana.com/news/254410/1/tema-motorway-a-reflection-of-failed-policies.html) .

7. Charles Takyi-Boadu. AFAG Demo Rocks Accra November 6,
29 October, 2014, (http://elections.peacefmonline.com/pages/politics/201410/220686.php).

8. Modern Ghana. ADOM FM launches "Save the Accra-Tema Motorway" campaign, (http://www.modernghana.com/news/205398/1/adom-fm-launches-save-the-accra-tema-motorway-camp.html) .

9. GDP (Gross Domestic Product), Ghana. According to the World Bank, the GDP for Ghana was approximately $38.65 billion in 2014.


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©Prof Lungu is Ghana-Centered/Ghana-Proud.
Prof Lungu is based in Washington DC, USA.
Accra-Tema Motorway Still Is Another Kwame Nkrumah Sika Duro!
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