Ghanaian News

COVID-19 ‘slowed down’ speedy execution of Sinohydro road projects – Osei Nyarko

The outbreak of the global COVID-19 pandemic has had a toll on the completion of road projects under the Sinohydro deal, Chairperson of the Roads and Transport Committee in Parliament, Kennedy Osei Nyarko has stated.

He said, but for the pandemic and its ravaging impact, the project was going on smoothly as scheduled without any hitches.

The Minority in Parliament has described the Akufo-Addo government’s flagship Sinohydro road deal as a total failure.

For the caucus, the absence of contractors at various sites across the country bears testimony to the fact that the project, years after being approved by the House, has turned out to be a fiasco.

But, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, while providing explanations for the delay in the project on Citi TV’s The Point of View show attributed the situation to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“The agreement was passed in the latter part of 2018. Everything started well in 2019 until the COVID-19 outbreak. Things had to slow down. The contractors are from China. It is not a Ghanaian company handling it. Even, to ship items or equipment here, the pandemic affected the whole arrangement. The Minister has even told us that, this has delayed the project.”

President Akufo-Addo inaugurated a US$1.5 billion road infrastructure project under the Sinohydro Master Project Agreement by cutting sod for the construction of the Tamale Interchange project in April 2019.

Months after the launch, much is yet to be seen under the overall US$2 billion deal.

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 ballon the public debt.

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