The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu, has said the government’s passion and resolve to building good roads for the region and the country as a whole, is remarkable, and needs to be applauded by all.
Despite the bereaved economy confronted by Ghanaians of late, he stated, road infrastructure under the Nana Akufo-Addo-led regime was unprecedented, and challenged journalists to be candid in their reportage on the current state of roads in the region so as to keep the public well-informed as they made their comparisons.
According to him, the region had witnessed a not inconsiderable facelift in many areas of development under the current administration, far above what it came to meet.
“I just want you the media to observe things for yourselves and report about the progress of work on the reconstruction of the Bolga-Bawku road and other road projects in the region. This is a first class road, and you have seen that, isn’t it?
“So make your observation, make your analysis and comparisons for the public to judge because this contract (Bolga-Bawku road contract) was awarded in 2016 when we were not in power. We took over power in 2017, and this is what you are seeing today. Marvelous work!” Mr Yakubu touted government.
The Minister was addressing newsmen in Bolgatanga after a day-long inspection tour on ongoing road projects in the region.
The three bridges, built in 1981, have been gradually deteriorating, necessitating reconstruction and expansion to make them motorable to facilitate ‘stress-free’ transportation of goods and services.
The Minister, whose main focus was the expansion of three bridges on the 116-kilometre Bolgatanga-Bawku-Pulmakon road, expressed satisfaction with the progress of work by the Brazilian Contractor, QueirozGalvao.
The contract sum for the entire road project is 127 million Euros. Of the amount, 21 million Euros is allotted for the expansion of the bridges which are scheduled to be executed before April 2023.
In his opinion, the road if completed, would not only offer a beacon of hope to commuters, but would improve economic prospects in the region as investors would be lured to do business there, hence employing many youth who had been idling because of non-existent jobs.
The Minister, accompanied by an entourage from the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC), started off with the inspection tour at the bridge in Bolgatanga, then later moved to the Red Volta and White Volta bridges, respectively.
A Consultant and Resident Engineer, Peter Dagadu, disclosed the entire bridge project was 45 per cent completed, and that, he hoped all three bridges which had 120-years life span, would be completed and open for use by December, this year.
According to him, the road contract, awarded in 2016 got halted along the line because a paltry amount of GH¢612, 743,844.64 was apportioned for the execution of the contract.
Dagadu explained work had started effectively when a supplementary loan agreement from the United Kingdom (UK) was reached, and a revised contract sum amount of GH¢127, 229, 014.28 was released for the project.
“Money is not a problem again, so the contract will be executed within scheduled time (March 2023). When we are done, we will do maintenance for at least a year before we handover to the Highway management”, the consultant assured, adding the contractor could only handover when the Highway engineer accepted the project as ‘substantially’ completed.