The Ashanti regional minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, has given yet another assurance that physical work on the Suame interchange will begin by August, as he rejects claims that the project has been abandoned.
President Akufo-Addo broke grounds for the construction of the project in October 2022 but many, including regional executives of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), have questioned why the project is yet to commence.
The Ashanti regional chairman of the NPP, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, at a news conference said the electoral fortunes of the party’s stronghold are heavily dependent on the completion of the Suame interchange.
On a working visit to the contractor on-site on Tuesday 6 June, Osei-Mensah appealed to the people of the region to bear with the government, saying some challenges including the IMF negotiations affected the commencement of the project.
He urged the people of Suame to be patient, admitting that the project may not be completed in 36 months.
The minister said, “I want to reiterate this, because of the way we do our politics, that the project will not be completed by December 2024 because the project is [scheduled] to be completed within 36 months. Even if it had started in October 2022, we still wouldn’t have completed by December 2024. I just want to make it clear that the project cannot be completed by December 2024.”
The Suame interchange, which will be the second four-tier interchange project in the country, is expected to ease traffic in parts of the Greater Kumasi area. Rango Construction Company Limited, the contractor, indicates that the re-designing work is expected to be completed in two months for the project to commence.
The company’s project manager, Mohammed Omar Fazzani, stated that the campsite for the project is 85% complete.
Fazzani said, “We are still in the design stage. We have already submitted the preliminary design and received some comments from the consultant and the owner, so I think within the next month or one and a half, we will finish with all the design stage and go to the ground to start. But we are ahead of the design schedule, and we hope to finish as soon as possible.”
The regional director of urban roads, Francis Gambrah, also said the preliminary designs have been submitted for a review “so, that is where we are. It’s not that nothing is being done. The design process is ongoing, and the physical work is expected to begin in August. It is even likely that it may begin in July.”