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Opinions of Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Columnist: Amarh, Richard Nii

Nkrumah circle interchange is a waste of time and money

The Coalition for Relocation of the Capital City (CRCC) is a non-partisan, pressure group that aims at ensuring that the Capital city of Ghana is moved from Accra to a more convenient location within the next ten years in order to ensure economic development, equality of accessibility to government, efficiency and good use of the tax payer’s money.

Whiles many Ghanaians may be thinking that the proposed construction of an ultra Modern interchange at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle is a visionary step to free the congestion in Accra, we think otherwise based on cogent reasons supported by well researched facts. To us, the proposed construction at the current Nkrumah Circle will be a complete waste of time, resources and will not inure to the prudent benefit of Ghana in the long run.

First of all, we know that the amount involved in the construction of this interchange alone will be enough to construct First class roads to network the whole of the Upper East and Upper west regions. The construction of this site involves the pulling down of mega structures in Accra and this will mean that government is going to use over 60% of the whole amount involved in payment of compensation to owners of most of these buildings. In our opinion, government will be much more fairer and prudent to Ghanaians if it channeled all these resources in developing a less choked city like Tamale, Sunyani or Wa and turned it into the nation al Capital within the next few years. Remarkably, payment of compensation to landowners will be very much less as compared to the very expensive and largely ill-developed lands in Accra which will end up depleting government expenditure on this extravagant project.

Secondly, the congestion in Accra is not due to inadequate road facilities, but rather a poor management of the transport system in Accra. Currently, all average income earners in Accra want to drive their own car. Their desire to drive is not because they want to be luxurious, it has been necessitated by the very poor nature of our transport system. We are almost harassed all the time, by “trotro” drivers who are pushed to act the way they do because they must make good sales at the end of the day. When you get on board, they would waste all your time trying to overtake one another only to stop and call other passengers in the next 30 seconds. This has resulted in several needless accidents and also wasted much time of users. Therefore, they have to make every effort to get a private car to drive. Our research shows that with the influx of about 600 cars into the country on daily basis, the construction of this flyover will not ease congestion at all. It will only stop it for 2 or 3 years and come back again. Seventy Four Million Euros, is not a small amount of money. It is going to be wasted on a fruitless effort at reducing traffic in Accra only for the situation to reappear in five years time.

We by this press statement wish to call on the President to immediately halt the construction at Nkrumah Circle and rather make plans on the relocation of the Capital from Accra and also implement the Rapid Bus Transport system that was proposed by his predecessor Prof. John Evans Atta Mills.

Ghana needs to wake up.

Richard Nii Amarh