Minister Replies AFAG

Roads Minister Alhaji Inusah Fuseini has dismissed claims that government has inflated the cost of constructing two of the country's major roads in Accra. The Alliance for Accountable Governance (AFAG) made the allegations at a press conference in Accra on Tuesday. The pressure group, among other things, claimed the government, as part of its corrupt practices, inflated the cost of construction at the Circle overpass as well as the Kasoa road project. Dr. Nana Ayew Afriyie claimed the Circle project was originally to cost 46 million but the government inflated the cost to 78 million. He also alleged that experts who evaluated work at the Kasoa interchange said it was supposed to cost some $32million but somehow government has inflated the cost to a whopping $174 million. This is "mass corruption all over," he told Joy News. But the Roads Minister in a reaction said the allegations are baseless. He argued before any such project is executed, a value for money audit is conducted, procurement processes followed and Parliament's approval sought before work is undertaken. It is therefore unacceptable to suggest that all these stakeholders were in cahoots to rip the nation off, he stated. According to the minister, the first phase of the Circle project would cost 74.8m with about 400 meters of composite bridge work to be done. There would also be a three kilometer length of road network, he added. He said phase two of the project would be the second interchange to connect the road into a three tier road. Alhaji Inusah Fuseini said the Kasoa project is a "comprehensive solution to the traffic situation in Kasoa and in Accra." That road project has three interchanges and a 63 kilometer length of road linking Accra to parts of Cape Coast, he said. He challenged critics to "talk on the basis of facts and not on somebody's idiosyncratic opinion."