Former Presidential Staffer under the erstwhile John Mahama administration, PV Jantuah Dadson has questioned the Ashanti Regional Minister’s appreciation of historic facts concerning infrastructural projects in his own region.

He refutes the claims made by the Ashanti Regional Minister that the NDC added nothing to the construction of the Sofoline Interchange during its two terms in office from 2009 to January 7, 2017.

According to Jantuah, anyone who claims that the NDC added nothing to the Sofoline Interchange may have been away from the region between December 2008 and 2017.

In an interview with Kojo Marfo on AbusuaNkommo at ABUSUA 96.5 FM, Jantuah explained that Construction began in 2008, with no progress made after the ground-breaking in 2007.

“When President Kufuor broke ground for the construction of the Sofoline Interchange on April 23, 2007, the Asafo Interchange was still under construction. This raised questions about starting a new interchange before completing the existing one,” he recounted.

He also argued that the agreement between the Kufuor government and the contractor China GEO stipulated that for every work completed by the company, 80% would be paid in dollars and 20% in cedis (at a time when the exchange rate was 1 cedi to 1 dollar).

PV Jantuah said when Kuffour government commenced work in 2008, they started the construction work with the Adom Super Blocks underpass and built the retaining walls to support it. Also, all structures within the construction zone were demolished to make way for construction to proceed.

“Earthworks commenced and by December 2008 about 30% of the earthworks had been executed”, he stated.

The former Presidential staffer explained that on assumption of office in January 2009 the government started with the construction of the interchange proper. It included drains, culverts, asphalting works, pedestrian pavements and other road furnishes up to Tanoso Apatrapa Junction.

He however admitted that work delayed in 2014 due to outstanding arrears of approximately 8 million dollars.

In an earlier interview with Kojo Marfo, the Ashanti Regional Minister insisted that the NPP administration completed the Apatrapa dual carriage, including all bridges, up to Abuakwa. The Bekwai to Santasi roundabout road is also currently under construction,” he stated.

He disputed claims by Hon Simon Osei Mensah regarding the Apatrapa Junction work, emphasizing that the NDC’s progress was evident from where the Sofoline project started.

“It is untrue for Hon. Simon Osei Mensah to say that they did the work at Apatrapa Junction. Assuming, without admitting, his assertions were true, the work for the interchange started in 2008. The work schedule is available. Therefore, if money was there during Kuffour’s administration, they could not have carried out the jobs from where they started to where we (NDC) ended. What he said is not factual and only exposes him as a Regional Minister who doesn’t know what is happening in the region”.

Regarding the delay in the Bekwai Roundabout to KATH stretch, Jantuah explained that the financial arrangement with the contractor had to be revised due to forex losses incurred.

“The reason the Bekwai Roundabout to KATH road has been delayed is that the rearrangement they did with the contractor, i.e., 80% in dollars and 20% in cedis, was causing a loss. Therefore, the agreement has been cancelled and repackaged”, he disclosed.

He also found it curious why the NPP won elections in 2016 and waited till October 2020 before allowing the contractors to move to site with a payment of about Gh60million if the government really attached priority to the project.

Jantuah expressed surprise at the Regional Minister’s claims and criticized his understanding of the project’s history and funding challenges.

“I was very surprised that the Regional Minister made all these claims. Has he forgotten that Kuffour left the gang of 4 and Sofoline Interchange without funding for Prof Mills to continue, He questioned.

We in the NDC believe in the spirit of continuity from 1992 to date. If the NPP had the same spirit, Ghana wouldn’t be in this situation. When it comes to effectively managing the resources of this country, the NPP can’t compare themselves to the NDC”, he stressed.

Stalled Hospital Projects

The opposition National Democratic Congress has been haggling with the GOVERNING NPP over who takes glory for hospital projects after the Ashanti Regional Minister threw a challenge to the NDC to show one hospital project the party completed and commissioned over its eight year period until it lost power in 2016.

Responding to the challenge, Jantuah discounted the regional minister’s effectiveness and criticized the stalled maternity hospital project at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.

“If he’s effective, how can a Regional Minister sit down for a hospital to be demolished without an integrity report? He is so incompetent. He told us the funding is there to complete the Maternity hospital, so how come the project has been stalled for 2 years? These are the responses we need because there’s a problem at hand. We don’t need responses that will make people live in past glory. It’s only in the Akufo-Addo administration that he will be in office for two terms.”

Call for Solution driven leadership

He called for solutions to current challenges in the region and highlighted the need for innovative managerial approaches to address issues in the Ashanti Region effectively.

“What managerial creativity has he brought to the Ashanti Region to solve problems in the last 8 years? A Regional Minister who is always fighting businessmen over lands, is that his job?

Go to Adum, Alaba, and its environs; there are a lot of challenges. He should bring creativity to solve and improve the region as a whole.” he suggested.

By: Kwadwo Owusu