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Opinions of Thursday, 18 February 2016

Columnist: The Catalyst Newspaper

When ‘political quantity surveyors’ are on rampage

A fact of life is that truth, how deeply submerged in water, like a cock will certainly swim its way back to the surface of the water and remain visibly afloat. Such is the case of the incessant lies being told by the twice defeated and third-time flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Mr. William Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his political protégé and running mate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia about the Mahama-led National Democratic Congress (NDC) government in the last three years, including the cost of various infrastructural projects embarked upon by the government including the ongoing Kosoa Interchange Project.
The NPP flagbearer and his running mate have consistently told their gullible followers the obnoxious lie that all projects being undertaking by President Mahama, particularly, the Kasoa and Kwame Interchange Projects have been overpriced, thereby imputing corruption to the President. Without providing a shred of evidence, the NPP propaganda choir, in a resounding chorus, has proclaimed corruption against President Mahama, insisting that by overpricing the project, the President has stolen the people’s money by conniving with the contractor.
Some have even gone to the ridiculous extent of comparing the costs of the Tetteh Quarshie and the Ako Adjei (Thomas Sankara Interchange) Interchanges to those of the ongoing Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange and the Kosoa Interchange projects and drawing uninformed conclusions based on the lies they have been fed by Akufo-Addo and his loyal protégé, Bawumia. Least did the NPP faithful know, however, that all this while, they were being deceived by the two ‘political quantity surveyors.’
President Mahama hit the nail right on the head when he described his invidious political opponents as “Political Quantity Surveyors” who stand at a distance and with their lay minds, determine the cost of ongoing projects and run with their uninformed positions to try to deceive the populace in a bid to incite them against the government. Now that the President has cleared the air on the actual nature of the project which is why it cost the country $170 million, the lies of Mr Akufo-Addo and Dr Bawumia have finally been exposed.
The question that any serious-minded political opponent should have been seeking answers for is as to what constitute the full complement of the project. A simple effort to research and find out the truth would have opened the eyes of Mr Akufo-Addo and his Bawumia to all the various components of the project. But usual, that was never to be since the two political desperados would stop at nothing to smear President Mahama with corruption for their selfish interest.
Yes, the Kasoa Interchange Project has cost the country $170million dollars because of the extended scope of the project. The Kasoa Interchange Project is unique in Ghana’s history of infrastructural projects because it presents an uncommon package that depicts a clear departure from the status quo, a novelty introduced by President Mahama. It is a major project of 9 different components, each costing a substantial amount of money. Here is the proof:
1. Construction of 3 interchanges at
i. Main Kasoa Traffic Lights
ii. Galilee/Iron City to link Iron City to Amanfrom (without U-Turns on main road)
iii. Universal/CP Junction to link Universal to Opeikuma area in Kasoa.
2. Widening of main Accra-Cape Coast Road b/n Iron City and Universal Junction into a 6Km 3 lane dual carriage way with slip roads and ramps.
3. Construction of 33km Amasaman-Ashalaja-Oboom Road with a bridge across river Densu.
4. 20km roads within Kasoa and Ga South Municipality
5. Construction of critical drainage systems in Kasoa and Ga South Municipality.
6. Construction of a New 2 Storey Polyclinic for Kasoa with OPD, Consulting Rooms and Intensive Care Unit
7. Construction of Four (4) 36 Classroom Blocks
8. Construction of 10 Mechanised Boreholes for selected Communities
9. Construction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) at Kasoa
For Mr. Akufo-Addo and Dr Bawumia to be leading the ‘overpriced projects’ chorus shows either a mark of gross ignorance or deliberate decision to engage in politics of deception. And the two political desperados must bow their heads in shame.
As the President ably explained, the factors that determine the cost of a project in one location may be different from those that influence the cost of a similar project in another location. For instance, even if the design of the ongoing Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange project was the same as that of the Ako Adjei Interchange, the costs might not be the same.
Mr Akufo-Addo and Dr Bawumia have let their followers down. Mr Akufo-Addo claims to be a brilliant lawyer who should be expected to do better in scrutinizing contract costs of this nature. Dr Bawumia, the so-called economic whiz kid on the other hand, has yet again been at his deception best. It is unfortunately that these two decided to take the unsuspecting Ghanaian for a ride by spreading such despicable lies about President Mahama for a singular purpose- to become the president and vice president of Ghana.
It is a shame that Mr Akufo-Addo and his Bawumia have stooped this low.
Ghanaians are not unintelligent as Mr Akufo-Addo and his Bawumia want to believe. Ghanaians know what is best for them and will demonstrate this noble virtue once again on November 7, 2016 by voting massively to retain President John Dramani Mahama in power.