President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday cut the sod for the commencement of the construction of an interchange here in Tamale in the Northern Region.
The interchange, which is a dual carriage way is the first of its kind to be constructed in the Northern part of the country.
The project which is to cost $500 million is being executed under the government’s Master Project Support Agreement (MPSA) deal with Sinohydro.
The deal which is estimated at about of $2 billion is aimed at infrastructure projects of Ghana’s choice across the country in exchange for refined bauxite (Aluminum or Alumina).
President Akufo-Addo said the construction of the interchange would help open the area for socio-economic activities.
He added that the project would create jobs for the teeming youth of the region and enhance the lives of the people.
The President warned that his government and the Chinese government would not countenance any delay and shoddy works.
He, therefore, entreated the local constructors who would be given jobs under the projects to follow strictly guidelines and specification of the project.
President Akufo-Addo admonished the constructors to institute measures to minimise the environmental pollution during the construction.
He indicated that the government was determined to transform the lives of the people of the region and urged them to help sustain the current peace in the area.
The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana, Mr Shi Ting Wang maintained that for years the Chinese government was devoted to the development of Ghana’s economy and well-being of Ghanaians.
He added that both countries were benefiting from friendly relationship between them and that the Chinese government would continue to offer the needed assistance to address the challenges of the country.
The Minister for Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta explained that Tamale being the main transit town to Ghana’s northern neighbour, Burkina Faso and other landlocked countries and also which serves an important trading route, deserved the project.
He said that the most of the traffic from the port of Tema to the landlocked countries use the city of Tamale as a thoroughfare making it very important for both local and international traffic.
Mr Amoako-Atta explained that the Tamale interchange which was about one kilometre long and links the Kumasi road through the Point 7 road, the Central Taxi Rank, Central Market intersection with the Melcom Road and Bolgatanga Road would ease congestion and save a lot of time.
The Minister called on the chiefs and people of the region, particularly the overlord of Dagbon, Yaa-Naa Mahama Abukari to support the contractors to execute the project on schedule.
Yaa-Naa Abukari on his part commended the government for the project and pledged to offer the needed assistance to contractors to ensure its completion on time.
“I wish to assure the President of my willingness to support the contractors on the project,” he said.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Salifu Saeed said the project would significantly enhance trade, economic growth and development of the region and called on all to prepare to support it.
“The construction of the interchange will contribute to municipal, regional and international trade and development hence improved standard of living and poverty reduction,” he stated.
The project includes the construction of 10km of ancillary roads around the interchange to improve traffic management.
The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and other ministers of state accompanied the President to the ceremony.
Some of the officials of the Sinohydro Corporation Company of China were also present at the sod cutting ceremony.
FROM YAKUBU ABDUL-MAJEED, TAMALE