Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, has defended his earlier statement that the six footbridges on the Tetteh-Quarshie-Madina-Adenta N4 Highway will be completed on schedule by the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).
According to the MP, who is also the Minister of State at the Office of the Vice President, he has not reneged on his promise that the footbridges will be completed last month.
He said he made the earlier promise stemming from an assurance he had from the sector Minister, Kwesi Amoako Atta, at a Cabinet meeting.
‘’The failure of the footbridges to be completed as promised earlier by the MP, became an issue on social media over the weekend, when the 3NEWS online belonging to the stables of TV3 network reported that the MP has failed on the timelines he gave for the completion of the footbridges.
The MP gave this strong indication that the footbridges will be completed as promised in an interview after residents of the area held a town hall meeting over the matter.
The MP said the propaganda that he has reneged on his promise to his constituents was not entirely correct.
Speaking in reaction to the news of the town hall meeting by residents, the MP said the completion of the footbridges was dear to the heart of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, adding that the completion of the footbridges will save the needless lives that are lost on daily basis on the dual carriage road.
He explained that his decision to assure his constituents that the footbridges will be completed in the month of October was based on a promise the sector minister for roads and highways made to him when he raised the issue of rampant knock down of pedestrians on the Madina-Zongo Junction stretch of road in the La-Nkwantanang municipality.
‘It was at Cabinet level when I raised the issue of the constituents agitating about the failure of the contractor to complete the project on time,’ he said.
He noted that at that level the sector minister explained that the contractor working on the project was owed eighty million dollars and that interest has been accruing on the initial contract sum over the past ten years during the reign of the National Democratic Congress’ government.
He said his decision to announce the end of the month of October for the completion of the footbridges stemmed from these assurances the minister gave at Cabinet.
According to him, the sector minister gave the assurance at the time, when he was in cabinet with him as the minister for inner-city and zongo development.
He stated the minister in his assurance said the contractor was willing to complete the footbridges if the government should advance fifty per cent of the monies owed him.
“I have not failed in my promise as some of my detractors in the constituency may want the electorate to believe.”
The completion of the bridge was on course as the sector minister claims, the roads ministry was mobilising for the completion of the footbridges, he added.
He noted that the ministry was also working round the clock to mobilise the percentage of monies being sought by the contractor for him to complete the project.
He revealed that President Akufo-Addo was gravely worried about the spate of accidents on that stretch of the road.
Meanwhile, the residents of Ritz Junction, Madina along the Tetteh-Quarshie-Adenta N4 highway have claimed that the suspension of work on the footbridges had led to the death of many pedestrians who, in their attempt to cross the busy dual carriage road, were knocked down by speeding vehicles.
Story: Today CORRESPONDENT