President of Policy think tank IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe has expressed surprise about a seeming ‘brawl’ between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) over ownership of the recently commissioned Tema Motorway Interchange project.
Whilst the NDC maintains the project was kick-started by the NDC’s John Mahama in 2013, and so should be considered one of his legacies, the NPP believes the project was only a “fantasy, existing in the Green Book and not on the ground”.
For them, the project would not have been completed and commissioned but for the intervention of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who facilitated grant agreements with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to provide monetary aid for the project.
Mr. Cudjoe, who is fascinated by the arguments by both camps took to his social media page to express his views.
First, he questioned the rationale behind the back and forth seeing that the monies used in the construction of the project was not even locally generated, but from aids from Japanese counterparts.
Then sought to clarify if this stance indeed is reflective of the “Ghana Beyond Aid” agenda that has been widely preached over the years.
“Tema interchange: Why is there a struggle over political ownership of a road financed by a grant from the Japanese? Is this What Ghana Beyond Aid Means?” he quizzed.
Meanwhile, Phase One of the Tema Interchange Project has been commissioned. The Project which was commissioned by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Friday, June 5, 2020, comprises of a two-tier intersection, a tunnel in the East-West direction, four kilometers of improved roads, four pedestrian bridges, and the presence of several drainage structures. The project was financed by a grant secured from the Japanese government in March 2017, to the tune of $56 million.
In 2013, the Government of Ghana under the John Dramani Mahama administration requested a grant from the Government of Japan to implement the project (The Tema Motorway Interchange).
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) then selected and dispatched a survey team which was headed by Mr. Ryohei Watanabe of CTI Engineering International Co., LTD. from March 2015 to March 2017.
According to FactCheckGhana.com, the initial survey and detailed designs were undertaken between March 2015 and December 2016 and the final report submitted to the Ministry of Roads and Highways for review and approval. This was also noted in the 2016 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of Ghana.
Although then-president John Dramani Mahama had mentioned in his 2016 State of the Nation address that “preparatory works for the redevelopment of the Accra-Tema motorway into a six-lane road with four interchanges at Adjei Kojo, Abattoir, Teshie Link, and Tema Roundabout will commence soon,” the project did not start until February 2018.
In 2017, the Government of Ghana signed grant agreements with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to provide aid of up to a total of 6,459 million yen for two programmes in Ghana of which the Tema Motorway roundabout was included.
In December 2017, the Government of Ghana, the Ministry of Roads and Highways, and Shimizu-Dai Nippon JV signed a contract for the execution of the project. In February 2018, the vice president of Ghana, H.E Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia cut the sod for the commencement of the project.