The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has cut the sod for the construction of 69.51km of roads in the bauxite mining town of Nyinahin in the Ashanti Region, Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North region and their surrounding towns and villages.
The sod-cutting ceremony held at Nyinahin brings to three, the number of sods cut this week for roads captured in the approved lots under Phase 1 of the Ghana-Sinohydro Master Project Support Agreement.
The first sod-cutting ceremony for the week was done for the 88km Hohoe-Jasikan-Dodo Pepeso road in the Oti region on Tuesday and the second for Cape Coast Inner City roads on Thursday.
Among the roads to be improved include Nyinahin town roads, Kwanfifini-Aprenimade Feeder Road, Mpasatia-Abompey Feeder Road and the Kessekrom-Adiembra Feeder Road.
The Sinohydro Master Project Support Agreement is for Construction and Upgrading of selected roads and interchanges in Ghana, to be administered under the Ministry of Roads and Highways (MRH).
The Department of Feeder Roads under the Ministry will provide technical services in the supervision and monitoring of the project.
Addressing the townsfolk of Nyinahin, Vice President Bawumia explained that government chose to employ new thinking in the exploitation of Ghana’s resources.
He said this is to ensure that both communities in which mining take place as well as the nation at large receive infrastructure and other benefits, hence the GoG-Sinohydro Agreement that seeks to leverage a fraction of Ghana’s bauxite deposit (in a value-added form) for some critical infrastructure projects worth $2 billion.
“After almost 100 years of mining gold, we have learnt some hard lessons. Bauxite mining will be different. We do not want a repeat of the Obuasi situation.
“This agreement with Sinohydro gives us the opportunity to provide critical infrastructure across the nation, including where the minerals are mined. This is a win-win situation for us,” he emphasised.
“The exchange agreement is to help us work on some selected roads across the country to boost economic activities and at the same time to enhance improved livelihoods of the people along the corridors of those roads.”
He underscored government’s commitment to ensure that the local content clause in the Agreement is strictly adhered to, emphasising that a lot of factors go into the choice of roads selected.
“The main purpose of selecting roads in this area is to enhance the production of bauxite and its related activities in the area. It is our hope that very soon we will see a great leap in the production of bauxite in this area to give strong support to the economy.
“The increase in the production of bauxite will indirectly impact other socio-economic activities in the area. Many jobs will be created to increase wealth and to reduce poverty.”
Roads and Highways Minister, Kwesi Amoako Atta, assured the chiefs of the area, especially Nana Amanpene Boateng Twum II, Chief of Nyinahin, that other roads in the area would be upgraded under Phase II of the Agreement.
“We want to assure you that this government will build roads that will last. This government is determined to provide quality road infrastructure,” he added.
The Chief Executive of the Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation (GIADEC), Michael Ansah, pledged his outfit’s determination to ensure responsible and environmentally-friendly mining to keep the mines as sustainable as possible.
A delighted Isaac Kwame Asiamah, Minister for Youth and Sports and MP for Atwima Mponua, urged his constituents to work hand in hand with the contractors to ensure the projects are delivered on time and with the right quality.
“The people of Nyinahin and Atwima Mponua are forever grateful to President Akufo-Addo and the NPP government for coming to our aid. We will ensure its success,” he pledged.
Present at the event were Simon Osei Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister; Benito Owusu-Bio, Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources; and MP for Atwima Nwabiagya North; Bernard Antwi Boasiako, Ashanti Region NPP Chairman; representatives of Sinohydro, chiefs and people of Nyinahin as well as officials of Ghana Integrated Aluminium Development Corporation.
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