Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah has denied claims by residents of Buokrom that contractors have abandoned work on the Airport Roundabout to Buokrom road right after President Nana Akufo-Addo ended his tour of the region.
As part of his tour across various parts of the country, President Akufo-Addo inspected some roads in the regions he visited, including the Airport Roundabout to Buokrom stretch.
Some residents who spoke to Citi News indicated that work on the road commenced ahead of the President’s visit to the region, but has since come to a standstill after the President moved on to the Eastern Region.
However, the Regional Minister expressed surprise at these claims, saying that although work on the stretch is progressing at a slow pace, it is still ongoing.
“There are equipment there and some people were there working. I even went there late in the afternoon [on Monday] so I don’t know what they [the residents] are talking about. What the contractor was doing is that he constructed the bridge and he’s filling the back of the bridge so he’s not on the main road working.”
“When the President was coming, the contractors were on site with minimum equipment. There are some of them who abandoned their sites and are waiting for payment. But the contractor on the Buokrom road has not abandoned site. All this while, he has been working but the pace is slow. That I agree with. And he is doing that because he is expecting payment. The promise the President made to them is that they will receive payment this month and by the end of November, about 80% of the total outstanding debt would have been paid and that is what we are waiting for now,” he said.
Mr. Osei Mensah also rubbished claims that some of the contractors were directed to return to the sites prior to the President’s arrival so that he could inspect their work.
“I wanted the president to see the reality on the ground else we could have called the contractor working on Aboabo to Airport roundabout to come on site. We didn’t call them so they were not even there. What benefit will I get as a regional minister to go to contractors to come to site and then abandon site and when the president leaves? Will I go and cry to the same president that the contractors are not on site?” he asked.
President Nana Akufo-Addo tasked the various contractors working on several roads and infrastructural projects in the Kumasi Metropolis to ensure they are completed on time during his visit.
While he inspected several project sites in the Region, the President noted that the timely completion of these road projects will not only enhance the status of Kumasi as Ghana’s 2nd largest city, but also establish it as a major and strategic business destination in West Africa.