President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo last Thursday joined the chiefs and people of Sandema to celebrate the Feok Festival, and announced to them that the government had awarded a contract for the construction of a bridge over the Santejan River at Doninga near Sandema in the Builsa North District in the Upper East Region.
The €2.2 million project will be executed over a 24-month period by Munck Engineering of Denmark.
The announcement of the award of the contract drew loud applause from the gathering.
President Akufo-Addo said the government was determined to invest in infrastructural development in the area and other parts of the region to uplift the standard of living of the people.
The Feok Festival is celebrated to mark the defeat of slave raiders at Builsa by the forefathers of the Builsa people.
President Akufo-Addo also mentioned the construction of the Navrongo-Sandema-Wiaga-Fumbisi road, saying the road was part of the national trunk road, N10.
He said 10 kilometres of the project was awarded to Messrs Deliman Limited, while a stretch of 40-kilometre was awarded to Myturn Limited.
The President, however, indicated that the Ministry of Roads and Highways was taking steps to terminate the contract awarded to Deliman Limited for non-performance, and would be re-awarded to another contractor.
On the other hand, he said, Mytum Limited had returned to the site and had completed 13 per cent of the road.
“A variation order has been issued to cover an additional stretch, Navrongo-Sandema-Wiaga-Fumbisi, which was not part of the original works.” the President added.
President Akufo-Addo said the government would from 2019, set up 200 agricultural mechanisation centres across the country, and the Builsa North District would be a beneficiary.
In addition to the elevation of the Builsa North District into a municipality, he indicated that the government was considering their request for the construction of a district hospital at Builsa.
On education, President Akufo-Addo said he had directed the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to ensure the completion of a self-help project currently ongoing at the Chuchuliga Senior High School.
He said the Minister of Education, Mr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, had been directed to look into the request by the Wiaga Community School for its adoption into the public system.
The President thanked the Sandema-Na and the people of Builsa for inviting him to be part of the celebration.
The Sander-Nab and Overlord of the Builsa Traditional Area, Nab Azagsuk Azantilow, expressed the appreciation of the people of Builsa to the government and urged his people to take advantage of the numerous policies and programmes rolled out by the government to improve their well-being.
He said initiatives such as the One-village, One-dam, One-district, One-factory and Planting for Food and Jobs, could change the lives of the people for the better
Touching on the construction of the bridge, Nab Azagsuk Azantilow said: “This is a project our late father, Nab Sir Azantilow had appealed to all governments since independence, to bridge the river, but to no avail. It is only your government that has listened favourably to us and has awarded the contract to bridge the river.”
Nab Azagsuk Azantilow expressed confidence that “our late father would roll happily in his grave, that Nana Akufo-Addo has made his dream come true, and certainly would wish and pray that he (Nana Akufo-Addo) stayed longer enough to make our country greater and stronger.”
He expressed appreciation to President Akufo-Addo for celebrating the festival with them and said, “for almost 20 years or more, no sitting President has joined us in celebrating this festival. We the chiefs and people of Builsa are, therefore, most grateful to your Excellency for your show of love.”