Government yesterday announced ready funds to pay for major road construction projects that have been stalled for lack of funds.
More than Gh˘400 million, realised from an oversubscribed Eurobond, with a target of GH˘300 million with five-year maturity, is available to pay the contractors on the projects which started in the previous Administration.
So far, a total of GH˘66 million have been released as first tranche payment to the contractors.
The breakdown of the release are GH˘23 million for the Achimota- Ofankor, GH˘13 million for the Tetteh Quarshie- Madina, GH˘13 for the Nsawam-Apedwa and GH˘17 for the Sofoline road projects.
The contractors have given their word to President John Evans Atta Mills that the projects would be completed by next year and in 2013.
The assurance came out of a meeting with the contractors, at the instance of the President on the progress of work and their new re-scheduled dates to complete the projects now that funds were available.
Apart from the Sofoline project, all the others are to be completed before the end of next year.
The Sofoline project, which started in 2007 with a target completion period of 36 months, is now to be completed by February 2013.
Welcoming the contractors to his office at the Osu Castle, President Mills said the completion of the roads, inherited from the previous Administration, was a major concern to the Government.
He said financial provisions were not fully made for the projects, and his Administration took a decision not to allow that to continue.
Government, the President said, decided to bite the bullet and therefore went for the sale of the Eurobond to raise funds for the completion of the projects.
He assured the contractors of Government’s co-operation to complete the projects on time, indicating on a lighter note that he would pay them a surprise visit to see for himself how they were progressing with the work.
President Mills expressed concern about the inconvenience caused to motorists by delays in the completion of road projects, adding that it was the responsibility of Government to make life comfortable for the people.
Mr Joe Gidisu, Minister for Roads and Highways and Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, together with Mr Peter Dagadu, Acting Chief Executive of the Ghana Highways Authority, Dr D. D. Darko, Director of Urban Roads and Mr Anthony Esssilfie of the Ministry of Roads and Highways were present at the meeting.
The Contractors involved were Sonitra, China International Water and Electricity Corporation, and China Geo Engineering Corpration.
Later in an interview with journalists, Mr Gidisu discounted rumours that the road asphalting at East Legon were being financed by residents themselves.
He said the contractor, Ussuya, was doing the road jointly with Government, to test its asphalting plant.
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