President Nana Akufo-Addo is in the Volta region but all some activists want to hear him address is the bad state of roads in the region.
The roads are as knee-jerking as political promises and the activists behind the #fixvoltaroads campaign have expressed frustration.
Government has promised to complete the 695-km Eastern corridor road that spans five regions and could potentially cut travel time from the south to the north by half.
It is a game-changer economically and a government-changer politically, in the region described as the 7th poorest in the country.
Began in November 2011 , the Eastern corridor road is one of Ghana’s deadline-missing projects. It was to be completed in 2013, then 2016, then March 2017.
Government is some 13 months away from its own deadline of completing the Eastern corridor by 2020.
The Roads and Highways Minister K wasi Amoako-Atta was there in the Volta region in July 2018 to give them this deadline and to highlight “ the determination of the President, that by the end of the first term, the entire stretch of the Eastern Corridor will see the light of day .”
The President travelled by night to the Volta region on Sunday.
And so while the President visits the people of Adaklu, a district with 89.7% poverty rate which is nearly three times the regional average of 33.8%, journalists stalk him ready to relay his comments on the road.
The massive stretch of road has received and is receiving funding from various sources – the EU, Brazilians, the Chinese, Adfb and Cocobod.
It has seven contractors working on it who have had to abandon work at various times over delayed payments. According to the Roads and Highways Minister, some contractors had not been paid for seven years.
While government has been getting stick over the roads, it has been giving some sticks to its predecessor, the NDC administration, accusing it of telling lies about road infrastructure.
Inundated with requests for roads whenever he tours a region, President Akufo-Addo said, “lies, inaccuracies and misrepresentations should not be the hallmark of political leaders.
I will not say I have done the Hohoe-Jasikan-Dodo Pepeso road when, indeed, it has not been constructed. I will never say such a thing.”
That was on his visit in July 2018. As he tours the region for the third time in three years, the President would brace for more pressure to fix the roads.
Andrew, a convener of the ‘fixthevoltaroads’ campaign told JoyNews, the President should be wary of making any more promises.
He indicated that a contractor is better than a comment and while the President comes with a speech, it will be better to hear rather, the screeching sound of caterpillars working the road first began in 2011.