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Buipe-Yapei bridge saga: Transport Minister hauled before Parliament

Parliament has summoned Roads and Highways minister Amoako Atta to appear before it on Thursday to respond to questions on the inconvenience caused to passengers following closure of the Buipe-Yapei Bridge.

The summons follow concerns raised by Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu about the closure.

Mr Iddrisu is unhappy with the inconvenience the closure has caused passengers and travelers along that stretch.

Many of those passengers have had to resort to the use of ferries through Nakpango, a situation that has increased the number of days spent on the journey and the cost involved.

Worse still, the Tamale South MP insists the closure is having a dreadful impact on businesses.

The Buipe-Yapei bridges connect Ghana to neighboring countries including Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Togo.

The bridge which was constructed over 50 years ago has had little maintenance works. It was closed on November 20, 2017, to make way for major repair works to be done on the bridge that is said to be in a bad state.

It is estimated the rehabilitation works will take at least four weeks to complete.

Even though alternative routes were announced, it appears it was not publicized enough for motorists and commuters.

Barely a week into the closure, the flood of protest by commuters has been overwhelming.

Some of the angry commuters are demanding the resignation of the Transport Minister who they accused of not putting adequate measures in place for alternative routes before closing down the bridge.

As if the challenges at the Buipe and Yapei enclave are not enough, Joy News is reporting one of the alternative routes which is the Yeji Ferry site is also going through its own challenges on account of the pressure that has come as a result of the closure Buipe bridge.

Daniel Takyi a broadcaster of Alive FM in Yeji reported there was confusion by some drivers at the Yeji Ferry site.

Some accused the Ferry management of favoritism.

The situation in Accra, is not any better. The drivers who ply the Accra-Tamale route are angry. They told Joy News’ Justice Baidoo they now spend twice the number of hours going to Tamale.

One of them said the eight hour journey has now become 19 hours, something they dread going through.

The concerns by the commuters have triggered a statement on the floor of Parliament.

Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo reported the Deputy Majority Chief Whip Mathew Nyindam as saying cabinet is handling the issue with all the seriousness it deserves and assured Parliament the challenges will be resolved in no time.

Meanwhile, the sector Minister is expected to appear before the house on Thursday to explain what concrete steps the government is doing to ease the inconvenience.