President of Policy think tank IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe has quizzed the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) over their political struggle for ownership of the Tema Motorway Interchange.
The two biggest political parties in the country have been trying to claim ownership to the Tema Interchange, especially, after the commissioning by President Akuffo Addo.
The NDC stressed the project was given the go ahead under former President John Mahama in 2013 and should be credited to him as such.
The NPP on the otherhand maintain the project was only a ‘fantasy’ in NDC’s Green Book. According to them, if not for President Akuffo Addo who facilitated grant agreements with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to provide monetary aid for the project, it would not have been completed.
For this reason, Franklin Cudjoe took to his social media account to call out the two political parties.
He questioned the rationale behind the back and forth, especially, when the money used was not even locally generated but rather a grant from the Japanese.
“Tema interchange: Why is there a struggle over political ownership of a road financed by a grant from the Japanese? Is this What Ghana Beyond Aid Means?” he quizzed.
The Tema Interchange was on Friday June 5, commissioned by President Akuffo Addo. It comprises of a two-tier intersection, a tunnel in the East-West direction, four kilometers of improved roads, four pedestrian bridges, and the presence of several drainage structures. The project was financed by a grant secured from the Japanese government in March 2017, amounting to the tune of $56 million.
In 2013, the Government of Ghana under the John Dramani Mahama administration requested a grant from the Government of Japan to implement the project (The Tema Motorway Interchange).
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) then selected and dispatched a survey team which was headed by Mr. Ryohei Watanabe of CTI Engineering International Co., LTD. from March 2015 to March 2017.
According to FactCheckGhana.com, the initial survey and detailed designs were undertaken between March 2015 and December 2016 and the final report submitted to the Ministry of Roads and Highways for review and approval. This was also noted in the 2016 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Ghana.
Although former President John Mahama had mentioned in his 2016 State of the Nation address that “preparatory works for the redevelopment of the Accra-Tema motorway into a six-lane road with four interchanges at Adjei Kojo, Abattoir, Teshie Link, and Tema Roundabout will commence soon,” the project did not start until February 2018.
In 2017, the Government of Ghana signed grant agreements with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to provide aid of up to a total of 6,459 million yen for two programmes in Ghana of which the Tema Motorway roundabout was included.
In December 2017, the Government of Ghana, the Ministry of Roads and Highways, and Shimizu-Dai Nippon JV signed a contract for the execution of the project. In February 2018, the vice president of Ghana, H.E Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia cut the sod for the commencement of the project.