Allegations of diverting €350m meant for Afram Plains misleading – Roads Ministry

The Ministry of Roads and Highways denied claims that it had reallocated monies meant for the construction of a bridge and some roads in Afram Plains in the Eastern Region.

Betty Nana Efua Krosbi Mensah and Joseph Appiah Boateng, Members of Parliament for Afram Plains North and South, claimed that the government had proposed using the funds for construction work on the Accra-Kumasi motorway rather than Adawso-Bunso to Ekye-Amanfrom.

But the Ministry in a statement said, “The Ministry wishes to state that the joint statement is misleading and that the Members of Parliament could have easily sought the necessary clarification from the Ministry. The allegation by the Members of Parliament against the Ministry is biased and cannot, therefore, be accurate.”

According to the statement, the government expected two components of the project, totalling €350 million, to be completed concurrently, but it was unable to finalise the financing arrangement for the project.

The Ministry blamed the government’s inability to reach financial agreements on the ongoing debt restructuring process.

“It was expected that the two components of the project, with a total cost of €350 million, will be executed concurrently and be completed in thirty (30) months subject to the successful completion of the financing arrangement. It is in light of this that Government allocated about US$98 million under the US$750 million African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) Loan as a contribution to the road contract component after one of the financiers declined to participate in the financial arrangement”.

“It is important to state that due to the current debt restructuring exercise, Government has not been able to conclude the arrangement of the financing for the project”.

“This has informed Government’s prudent decision to apply the allocation under the Afreximbank facility to the equally important Accra-Kumasi corridor,” it said.

“The re-allocation will be applied to specifically the Apedwa to Ejisu section of the Accra – Kumasi Road. This stretch goes through major towns such as Osino, Anyinam, Enyiresi, Nkawkaw and Konongo in the Eastern and Ashanti Regions. It is common knowledge that sections of the road within these towns are usually marked with heavy traffic congestion causing a lot of delays, accidents, pedestrian-related crashes and increased travel time,” the Ministry of Roads and Highways explained in its statement.

“The Ministry wishes to assure the good people of the Afram Plains area, including the Honourable Members for the Afram Plains, and the general public that the decision taken is in the interest of the general welfare of the people of Ghana. Government is committed to addressing their road network challenges and encourages all to cooperate with the Ministry as we strive to improve upon the national road network,” the Ministry urged.

Source: Ghana Web