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02.03.2005 Regional News

Minister's Speech Angers Ashaiman Residents

By Ghanaian Chronicle

Residents of Middle East, a suburb of Ashaiman near Tema, are up in arms with the minister of Finance, Mr. Kwadwo Baah Wiredu over a statement he made when he presented his budget statement in parliament last Thursday.

The Hon. Minister stated in his presentation that construction works on roads in all that part of Ashaiman were almost completed.

According to the residents, the work done so far on the said roads are only about 20 percent complete, and therefore were shocked as to why the minister could make such a statement to deceive the Ghanaian populace.

The residents believe that by that statement the minister sought to create the impression that the government had completed construction works on the roads in the area, when in actual fact the government has not even gone beyond 20 percent of the project.

But, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashaiman, Mr. Alfred Yaw Agbesi in an interview said he did not want to blame the minister, but the Tema Municipal Assembly (TMA), which furnished the minister with false information.

He explained that before the 2004 general elections, the TMA circulated a brochure, which catalogued all the development projects undertaken by the assembly in the four year stay of the NPP in power.

He said it was indicated in the brochure that the roads in the Middle East were completed, but all efforts to get the assembly to change that portion proved futile.

The MP continued that he was not bothered so much because he knew it was a means to win political sympathy from the electorate especially when it was at the eve of the elections.

He further explained that the project itself which started a few months to the elections were first leveled and graveled, probably to convince the electorate that government was ready to serve their need to enable the party win their votes.

He said after the election, the constructor has not been sighted in the area till now. The Ashaiman MP has pledged to do everything to ensure that the confusion generated as a result of the minister's presentation was resolved.

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