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Gideon Boako, the spokesperson to the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, says road projects under the Sinohydro agreement are expected to be completed within three years.
“Under the agreement, we signed with Sinohydro, we have been given a maximum of three years for the projects to be completed,” Mr. Boako explained on the Citi Breakfast Show.
This new timeline comes months after the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu had assured Ghanaians that the roads under the Sinohydro agreement will be completed in 2021.
President Nana Akufo-Addo inaugurated a US$1.5 billion road infrastructure project under the Sinohydro Master Project Agreement.
The agreement which was signed between Sinohydro Corporation Limited and Ghana in 2018 aims to fund infrastructure such as roads, bridges, interchanges, hospitals, housing, railway development as well as rural electrification.
Developments in these sectors have however stalled months after the agreement was signed.
Mr. Boako explained that the COVID-19 pandemic largely contributed to delays in completing the projects.
“COVID-19 came and China was the origin of COVID-19. Due to the devastating effects of COVID, things had to slow down,” he said.
He added that the government had made “significant progress” despite the effects of the pandemic.
Giving specific timelines for the execution of some projects under the Sinohydro deal, Dr. Boako said the Adentan-Dodowa road, among others, will begin by the end of 2021 while the Tamale Interchange will be completed by the end of the same year.
“Work on the Accra-Buipe roads, the Kumasi Inner-City roads, and the Adentan-Dodowa roads and part of the remaining lot under phase 1 that we had financial closure for two months ago will begin by the end of the year, and end in the first quarter of 2022. There will be activity on those roads pretty soon because we had financial closure on those roads.”
Per the agreement, the Sinohydro Corporation of China will provide the infrastructure of the government’s choice in exchange for Ghana’s refined bauxite.
Though critics called for the agreement to be reviewed warning it would add to Ghana’s debt stock, the government insisted it is a barter arrangement that will not balloon the public debt.
Below is the interview on the Citi Breakfast Show