More than 200 Project Affected Persons (PAP) on the Suhum-Nsawam and Madina-Pantang roads yesterday besieged the offices of the Controller and Accountant-Generals Department (CAGD) to demand their money.
The action renewed a five-year protracted battle between the PAPs on the two projects and the government.
An assurance from the Deputy Controller and Accountant-General in charge of Finance and Administration, Mr Kwasi Owusu, that the money would be ready Friday, at the Bank of Ghana (BoG) did not assuage the anger and frustration of the people, who retorted in Twi, a local dialect that they will not go and that they want their money or they will sleep at the offices of the CAGD.
Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) gave the representatives of the PAP, a warrant to be cleared at the CAGD, but the two groups are yet to receive the cheques, which they said had become a great source of worry to them.
The MoFEP issued two separate warrants; GH¢23, 11,449 for those on the Suhum-Nsawam Road, and GH¢8,598,676 to their counterparts on the Madina-Pantang stretch totalling of GH¢31.7m.
The money, which has been outstanding since 2005, will be paid to property owners whose structures were demolished during the construction of the Accra-Kumasi Highway Lot 6: Kwafokrom-Apedwa and the Tetteh Quarshie-Mamfe and the Madina-Pantang roads.
The affected people include landlords, chop bar operators, mechanics, farmers, welders and electricians whose properties were demolished to pave the way for the construction of the two major roads.
‘Since the warrant was handed to us, we have been shuttling between our homes and the department, and it appears they are playing some tricks which we do not understand’, the spokesman for the group, Mr Owusu Dome, stated in an interview with the Daily Graphic.
According to him, they had already waited five years to get the warrant for the payment. It was, therefore, unfair that after about two weeks, they had still not received their money.
The next action
Mr Dome who had been elated after receiving the warrant two weeks ago threatened a blockage of the main Suhum-Nsawam highway, a major road that leads to Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.
‘We have made that intention known at today’s meeting with officials of the department and we pray that they keep to their promise’, he stated.
‘We have been asked to go to the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) tomorrow to follow up. If by Monday, we don’t get our money, we will carry out the threat’, he stated.
Mr Dome’s sawmill at Suhum was cleared during the road construction and he had been waiting for the money to revive the business and also to go into commercial agriculture.
By Naa Lamiley Bentil & Zainabu Issah/Daily Graphic/Ghana
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