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Politics of Thursday, 20 August 2020

Source: Starr FM

Fact check: Bawumia’s claim that Circle Interchange cost $260m mostly true

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia claims the National Democratic Congress government constructed the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange at a cost of $260 million while 4 interchanges constructed by the NPP government cost 280 million dollars. Is that a fact?

Claim: Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says the NDC government constructed the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange at a cost of 260 million dollars while 4 interchanges constructed by the NPP government cost 289 million dollars.

Verdict: Mostly True

Background

Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia on August 18, 2020 at the presentation of the Akufo-Addo government’s infrastructure record claimed the Akufo-Addo government, has, apart from its pursuit of an inclusive infrastructure development for all, also focused on delivering the best value for money for all of its projects.

Dr. Bawumia argued that there were staggering disparities in the value of similar projects undertaken by the erstwhile John Mahama government and current projects by the Akufo-Addo government and hence the comparison of 4 interchanges being constructed now and the Kwame Nkrumah interchange.

Verification

To ascertain the truth of this claim, we had to establish two things that will form the basis of the analysis.

First- Are the figures mentioned in the claim accurate?

Second- Do the figures on the face of it fully answer the question of value for money?

Kwame Nkrumah Interchange

On the figures, the Kwame Nkrumah interchange was in two phases.

Phase one was a $100 million project advanced to Brazilian construction firm Queiros Galvao to construct the interchange.

The scope of work of the project covers a detailed engineering design; construction of the interchange; construction of a road-over-rail bridge; widening of the Odaw Bridge; improvement of the intersection of the Ring Road at Feo Eyeo Road; improvement of road drainage works; provision of pedestrian and recycling facilities; rationalisation of existing public transport facilities and the provision of street lights for nighttime safety.

An agreement for the execution of the $100-million project (74.88 million euros), has already been signed between the governments of Ghana and Brazil.

The loan is an export credit agreement between the government and PNB?Paribas of Paris, France, a mandated lead arranger, and the Queiroz Galvao Construcao of Rio de Janeiro under a Brazilian Official Equalisation Programme (PROTEX).

Source: Ghana Business News

Peace FM

Subsequently the ancillary works saw the cost of the project increase to 260 million dollars.

Tamale Interchange

For the Tamale interchange the cost of the project stands at 46.7 million dollars. The finance committee of parliament in its report to approve the loan facility, which was part of the Sinohydro agreement, was to commence in 2018.

The interchange, which is about one kilometre long, links the Kumasi road through the Point 7 road, the Central Taxi Rank and Central Market intersection with the Melcom and Bolgatanga roads.

Source: Parliament of Ghana

Tema interchange

For the Tema interchange, the phase 1 was funded with a Japanese grant of some US$55.6 million which involved the construction of 2.1-km three lane Dual carriageway with 730m Underpass on the National route N1 and the improvement of 1.9km two lane Dual carriageway on the National Route N2 from the Ashaiman Roundabout onto the Harbour Road.

Source: Business Ghana

Obetsebi Lamptey interchange

The cost of the Obetsebi Lamptey interchange is 135 million dollars. The project is meant to put in place the necessary traffic management measures to minimize the inconveniences the construction works will bring to commuters and pedestrians. Funding for the project was secured from Export Credit Facilities from the United Kingdom and Spain. The interchange consists of a ground level roundabout, with the second-tier, an east to west flyover linking the Graphic Road to the Kaneshie Mallam Road.

Source: Ghanaian Times

The Pokuase interchange will cost 84 million dollars and the scope of work comprises a four-tier interchange at Pokuase, a five-kilometre Awoshie-Pokuase road, two-kilometre Accra-Nsawam road, two-kilometre Kwabenya road and 10 kilometres of local roads to improve traffic flow in parts of Accra.

Analysis

Based on the figures for each of the projects and its cumulative cost, Dr Bawumia was factual with the cost of the projects.

But on a closer look, the argument of value for money with the 4 interchanges compared to the Kwame Nkrumah interchange must be further interrogated.

The scope of work for each of the 4 interchanges vis a vis the Kwame Nkrumah interchange reveals a difference in the ancilliary facilities provided.

Whereas the 4 interchanges constructed or under construction currently have ancilliary facilities provided, the complexity of the Kwame Nkrumah interchange and the number of ancillary facilities makes a valid case for the price of the project.

Some engineers argue that the cost of each interchange must be analysed based on the materials used, the design of the interchange, the extent and cost of the ancillary facilities plus the cost-benefit analysis of the project.

Conclusion

So even though the numbers given by Dr. Bawumia on the cost of the 4 interchanges vis a vis the Kwame Nkrumah interchange is accurate, the value for money measurement is subjective and open to multiple interpretations.

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