While commissioning the much-talked-about multi-tiered Pokuase Interchange in Accra, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s attempt to take credit for the ultra-modern construction has earned him a backlash on social media with some Ghanaian Netizens slamming him for being petty.
According to President Akufo Addo, in reality, all his government did was to change the original three-tier design of the interchange to four-tier within the same contract sum.
“It is important to put on record that the original contract design [for the Pokuase interchange] was for a three-tier interchange, however through efficient management by my government the interchange was modified to a four-tier interchange within the same contract sum,” he said.
The President went ahead to make a comparison that has set off wagging tongues. “Indeed, $289 million has been used by the Akufo-Addo government to construct three interchanges (at Pokuase, Obetsebi Lamptey, and Tamale) as opposed to $260 million used by the Mahama government to construct only the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange. These are further examples of the fact that we in the NPP are good protectors of the public purse,” he said.
However, critics have pointed out that adding a single tier to a four-tier interchange is not exactly the ultimate hallmark of a good manager, rather it was a design decision that simply altered an original plan.
Also, critics say the attempt to find a non-existent fault in the Pokuase fault is an attempt by the President to deflect the fact that the interchange can be credited to the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama administration.
Already, the original documents of the project have surfaced, showing that it was started by the Mahama administration in 2015 through funding from the African Development Fund (ADF).
Negotiations for the funds started on September 20, 2016, it was approved eight days after and the loan agreement for the project was completed in October 2016 after which the project started. This was at the latter parts of the Mahama administration which would be voted out in December 2016.
So, whatever design issues that needed adjustments to fit the original budget for the project would have been the sole responsibility of the Akufo Addo administration which took over the administration of the country in January 2017.
The Pokuase Interchange is a four-tier interchange situated at Pokuase Junction, connecting motorists to Awoshie, Kwabenya, Amasaman, and Achimota.
The project is being undertaken by Messrs China Zhongmei Engineering Company Limited.