NDC has an abysmal record of building roads, Bawumia says Featured

Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia has strongly rejected accusations by the opposition National Democratic Congress against the New Patriotic Party government, led by President Akufo-Addo, of neglecting the infrastructure needs of people in the Volta and Oti Regions, especially with regard to roads. The attempts at blame followed an oversight in the summary of the 2020 Budget, read in Parliament on November 13.

Describing the former government’s record of providing roads as “very embarrassing”, Dr Bawumia challenged the NDC to provide any evidence of such neglect and to show Ghanaians where the many roads beautifully drawn pictures of to be seen in the party’s manifesto – the Green Book – can be found.

The Vice-President threw open this challenge on Tuesday as he broke ground at Jasikan for construction work to begin on the 88-kilometre Hohoe-Jasikan-Dodo Pepesu stretch of the Eastern Corridor Road.

Vanished roads

Addressing the chiefs and people of Oti, Dr Bawumia said when it assumed office in 2017, the Akufo-Addo government had to face the fact that the NDC had misled Ghanaians about the extent of work it had done in the roads sector.

“Contrary to all the nice pictures in the Green Book, we realised that the reality on the ground was very different.

“For eight years of the previous NDC government, they did not pay much attention to Volta or Oti roads. But today, they want to tell us they care more about Volta and Oti than we [the NPP] do. [In] eight years, they accomplished very little.

“We identified these roads more than two years ago and said we were going to do these roads. And the Minister for Finance, in the Budget, mentioned specifically that we are going to do the Hohoe-Jasikan-Dodo Pepesu road.

“And this is what we are seeing today. We are seeing that Hohoe-Jasikan is being done as we speak today, and Jasikan-Dodo Pepesu is being done,” he said.

Dr Bawumia said that through the efforts of the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako-Atta, the contractors for Hohoe-Jasikan and Jasikan-Dodo Pepesu were mobilised and went on site two weeks before the Budget statement was presented by Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister for Finance.

“Two weeks before the Budget, they had already mobilised to site. So how can you ignore a region by mobilising for the construction of their roads?” he asked.

He added, “Another point. Of all the roads that were listed under critical roads in the Budget, the only roads that have started are the Hohoe-Jasikan and Jasikan-Dodo Pepesu. They are the only two. All the others that have been listed are still under procurement.

“So, how can you even think that we have ignored Volta Region, when it is the one that is starting before anybody else?”

Eight years of NDC

The Vice-President said he believes that NDC members are embarrassed by their own record.

They are “very embarrassed because it is an embarrassing record, if the truth is to be told. They claimed they had fixed so many roads in the country, but today there are demonstrations everywhere across all the regions for more and more roads,” he said.

Dr Bawumia added, “In their eight years they didn’t fix one major road in the Upper East Region. Not one. In their eight years in office, not one major road in the Upper West Region did they complete. Not one.

“So, should these regions also say you have ignored them completely? Wouldn’t they be justified? Eight years, you didn’t fix the Volta Region roads. You didn’t fix the Oti roads. And I can go on and on.”

Propaganda

The Vice-President dismissed claims by NDC legislators and party activists that the Volta Region was overlooked in the drafting of the 2020 Budget statement.

“When the Budget was read … you could see mention of roads in many regions and in the Volta Region the dualisation of the Ho town roads, construction of Ho bypass, Dufor-Adidome road, Asutsuare-Aveyime road, upgrading of Klefe town roads, Akatsi town roads, Ketu South area roads, upgrading of selected Kpando Municipality roads and Ketu North roads.

“All of these were in the Budget. But after the Budget, we were being told that we have ignored Volta Region,” he said.

He advised NDC members to take their time to read the Budget.

“But they don’t like reading. They like propaganda. They like to knock our heads against each other. They like tribalism. They like division.

“Under Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, this country is being governed as a united country.

“No region will be overlooked. That is why we have policies like One Constituency One Ambulance, One District One Factory, One District One Warehouse, One Village One Dam, water for all, toilets for all and free SHS for all, to ensure inclusion of all,” he said.

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