STATEMENT: Assin Praso – Bekwai Road Project Is Kufuor’s Initiative


    It is important that we bring to the attention of the general public that the Assin Praso –Asante Bekwai road project which the Vice President, John Mahama, cut sod for its construction on Tuesday, 25th January, 2011 at Assin Praso in the Central Region is an initiative of former President Kufuor and the NPP government and not that of this current Mills-Mahama non-performing government.
    On the 27th of May, 2008, former President Kufuor secured Japanese grant of $85 million for the construction of the Assin Praso-Bekwai asphalt road which included the reconstruction of the bridge on the river Pra and a new market at Assin Praso. Additionally, the Japanese government expressed its readiness to make available further financial assistance in the form of concessionary loan that might be needed to enable the entire stretch to be completed.
    This grant was secured following bilateral talks held between President John Agyekum Kufuor and Japanese Prime Minister, Mr Yasuo Fukuda, at the Intercontinental hotel in the port city of Yokohama, ahead of the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV). All the designs of the road with that of the bridge were all done under President Kufuor with Honourable Richard Anane as the Minister of Roads and Transport at the time. The bridge which was constructed in the 1930’s was designed under this new project to have an asphalt dual carriage road.
    The Yamoransa – Anwhiankwanta road was constructed around 1993 with a Japanese grant and the actual construction work was done by Daewoo Construction Company. Due to the nature of shoddy work executed by Daewoo Construction Company under the watch of the apostles of the legendary Mabey and Johnson NDC government era, the road suffered a serious deterioration even before the construction work was completed. President Kufuor solicited for Japanese grant for the construction of the same road and this was approved in May, 2008.
    The construction of the entire Yamoransa-Anwhiankwanta road was to be done in phases and the $85 million Japanese grant was for the Assin Praso-Bekwai stretch of the road. The new figure of $100 million dollars for the project came about as a result of the re-evaluation of the work done by the Japanese government.
    In view of this, it comes as a surprise that this DO-NOTHING government is claiming credit for this project. We thought their ‘action year’ declaration meant a year of new initiatives which will see massive development in infrastructure but not cutting sod for NPP projects which funding has already been sought for. Ghanaians voted for the NDC for new initiatives for better infrastructural development and better policies for better lives than what they experienced under the NPP but it is clear that the NDC has nothing new and better to offer but just to present NPP projects to the electorate as their own.
    It is also a blatant lie that the Japanese government stopped assisting Ghana government after Ghana had opted for HIPC and that it took President ‘DO-NOTHING -DZI WO FIE ASEM’ Mills to go and negotiate for Japanese assistance. It was a Japanese grant which was used to construct the Yamoransa-Mallam road after Ghana had opted for HIPC under President Kufuor. There are other several JICA projects which took place in this country under President Kufuor after opting for HIPC.
    The question is: why was the impression created that the road was being constructed within the Central Region where the Central Regional Minister accompanied the Vice President and some Central Region chiefs being invited to the sod cutting whereas the main road being constructed is within the Ashanti Region? Was it the usual ploy to deceive the people of the Central Region that the government YOU CAN NEVER TRUST is attempting to fulfill its numerous promises to the people of the Central Region?
    Richard Takyi-Mensah
    Regional Communications Director
    Tel: 0249167226
    Source: NPP Central Region Secretariat/