Work on Volta Region portion of Eastern corridor road stalls
Work on the Volta Region portion of the Eastern corridor road has completely stalled following the withdrawal of construction equipment by all the contractors working on the project.
The contractors have not been paid for work done since January and the COCOBOD, financiers of the project, have also suspended sponsorship.
An inspection of portions of the road by the Daily Graphic revealed that portions of the road had deteriorated, while the road from Asikuma Junction to Peki–Adzokoe, from Nyagbo-Sroe to Nyagbo-Agodome and from Nyagbo-Gagbefe through Logba-Vuinta to VeGbodome, are in good condition.
The road from Ve Gbodome through Hohoe to Jasikan to Kadjebi and the road from Kpassa to Sibi are in a very deplorable state, as the recent heavy rains have washed away all surface dressings.
In contrast, the road from Dodo Pepesu to Nkwanta is in a very good condition.
Contractors on the road
There are seven lots awarded to five contractors on the Volta Region portion of the Eastern corridor road. They are Asikuma to Have (45km) and Have-Hohoe, awarded to G.S International Developers; Hohoe-Jasikan (27 km) to Messrs Rollider, Dodo-Pepesu to Nkwanta (45km) to Messrs Kanazoe Limited, Nkwanta-Sibi (45km) to Messrs China Jiangxi Limited and Sibi-Oti Damanko (12km) to First Sky Limited.
The delay in payment to contractors working on the Volta Region portion of the Eastern Corridor road has seriously affected progress of work on the project.
Earlier in the year, Mr Deng Jum, the Commercial Manager of G.S International Developers, a Chinese construction firm, gave an assurance that if the payment pattern is improved, the construction company will be able to hand over the project by January 2018.
However, the contractor and all others have moved out of site, leaving an uncompleted project to the disappointment of the people of the Volta Region and other travellers along the route.
There is, therefore, public outcry for the government to act fast enough to complete the project.
The previous government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) adopted the road project in its manifesto for the December 2016 general election but could not complete it in fulfilment of its manifesto promise.
The ruling government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has, however, assured the people that the government will continue with the project and complete it to open up the area to commerce and reduce drudgery of travelling on the rugged road.
Response from Volta Regional Minister
The Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, said he was optimistic that work would resume soon as the Ministry of Finance was working to pay the contractors.
Commenting on the project, Dr Letsa said the Eastern corridor was a flagship project for the region and the nation as a whole and government would not renege on its responsibility to complete the road.
Work on the Asikuma-Agate Lot, covering 45 kilometres, which started in December 2011 and was expected to have been completed in 2013, under Ghana Government funding, is 50 per cent complete.
The Agate-Logba Alakpeti Lot, covering 20 kilometres, is 58 per cent complete and a stretch of 31.3 kilometres from Logba–Alakpeti to Hohoe is only 38 per cent complete.
A Chinese construction firm, G.S International Developers, is undertaking major constructional works on 45 kilometres from Asikuma to Agate under GOG funding, 20 kilometres from Agate to Logba Alakpeti under COCOBOD funding and 31.3 kilometres from Logba Alakpeti to Hohoe, also under COCOBOD funding.
The Commercial Manager of G.S International Developers, Mr Jum, said long delays in payment for work executed was not good for contractors.