Former President John Mahama has accused President Nana Akufo-Addo of re-awarding the 54-kilometre Jasikan-Dodo Pepesu road construction contract for over $100 million dollars when he (Mr Mahama) awarded the same contract – which was later stopped by the Akufo-Addo administration – for over $40 million.
During one of his tours of the Oti Region, President Akufo-Addo said work on the 54-kilometre Jasikan – Dodo Pepesu stretch of the Eastern Corridor Road will commence from the 3rd quarter of 2019 – July.
According to Mr Akufo-Addo, an amount of $45 million has been earmarked, under the Phase I projects of the $2 billion Government of Ghana-Sinohydro Master Project Agreement, for the construction of the Jasikan – Dodo Pepesu road.
Speaking at a durbar held in his honour at Jasikan on Tuesday, 14 May 2019, President Akufo-Addo recounted how, in 2016, he said he was yet to see the so-called “unprecedented infrastructural projects” touted by his predecessor, John Dramani Mahama.
“I stated, at the time, that wherever I have been to, I never saw these so-called unprecedented infrastructural projects he [Mr Mahama] claimed he had done. He [Mr Mahama] responded by telling me that I was asleep, the reason why I hadn’t seen these projects.
“However, there has not been a single durbar across the country where I have been where the issue of the poor road network has been raised by the chiefs and people,” the President said.
He continued, “We, as political leaders, must always be truthful to Ghanaians. Lies, inaccuracies and misrepresentations should not be the hallmark of political leaders. I will not say I have done the Hohoe-Jasikan-Dodo Pepesu road when, indeed, it has not been constructed. I will never say such a thing.”
Mr Mahama, however, told Richard Mensah of Accra-based Citi FM in an exclusive interview that: “The president lied”.
He explained: “I never said I had done all the roads in the country as he was reported to have said”, adding: “Everybody comes and adds on, but everybody can feel that I was doing their road because the lists of the roads we were working on were there”.
Mr Mahama accused the Akufo-Addo government of pulling the plugs on several road projects he had started under his term of office.
“It was this government that came and suspended work on them, asked all the contractors to stop work and stopped them from working. And many of them, two years now, they’ve not paid them for the work they did. And they’ve not asked the contractors to go back to the site, so, the roads have stopped. And, so, it is for the Ghanaian people to know”.
Using Jasikan-Dodo Pepesu road to buttress his argument, Mr Mahama said: “Look at this Jasikan road the president went to recently, we awarded it on contract and the contractor was working; it was the president who came, Nana Akufo-Addo, 2017, after he came, and asked the contractor to stop work, it was a cocoa roads project and that eastern corridor road was supposed to be finished by the end of 2018. That whole stretch of eastern corridor road would have been completed. He came and stopped work on all those segments of the eastern corridor and left it …”
Disputing the cost justification for the discontinuation of the projects, Mr Mahama said the Akufo-Addo government is rather paying more for the same quantum of roads than the cost at which he (Mr Mahama) awarded same.
“…The cost today is higher”, Mr Mahama asserted, adding: “This 54-km he has cut the sod for, one kilometre is going for one-point-something million dollars, far higher than the award we gave. The award we gave to Rolida was 40-something million, this award is 100-and-something million. And, so, you’ve re-awarded it at a higher price than even the original contract sum that we had given. And, so, 40-something-million dollars and 100-and-something million dollars, there’s a gap of about 60 million dollars. And, so, you can’t say that the costs under me were higher because this is a clear example.
“That road would have been completed by now at a lower cost but for the president coming and stopping it and leaving it to deteriorate to the extent that it has deteriorated and then awarding it again to a company to complete”.