President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has indicated that better roads should be the catalyst for national development and not an instrument of death and pain, cautioning motorists to be extra careful and disciplined on the highways and resist the temptation of over-speeding.
He said it is time accidents in the country are brought under control, reminding Ghanaians of their responsibility to be disciplined on the road to making accident a thing of the past.
“As we talk about upgrading the condition of our highways, we as Ghanaians need to be responsible in the use of our roads. Although the necessary safeguards have been put in place, the frequency of accidents on our highways due to over-speeding and indiscipline are a great reproach to us all,” he said.
Speaking at the opening of first phase the Tema Motorway interchange project to improve traffic congestion and trade facilitation for Ghana and its neighboring countries, the president said safety on the roads are critical to national development and enhancing the growth of key sectors of the economy, stating that the completion of phase one of the Tema interchange project is such a welcome development.
“The provision of quality road infrastructure is an important tool of the socio-economic development of our country and government will ensure the even spread of such project across the country,” he said.
He called on agencies and departments of the Ministry of Roads and Highways, especially the Ghana Highway Authority, in collaboration with the National Road Safety Authority and the patrol unit of the Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service to intensify their educational and sensitization activities on speed control and road preservation. He appealed to Ghanaian, particularly drivers, to use the road responsibly and productively.
Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako Attah disclosed that the motorway round about is a five legged round about serving the people of Tema and its surrounding areas, including neighboring countries in the sub region.
The project, which cost US$57 million, was a grant from the Japan International Cooperation and Agency (JICA), took 28 months to be completed on schedule by the contractor, Shimuzu- Dai Nippon and CTI Engineering, a supervising consultant, and generated over 1000 direct and indirect jobs
Components of the project include construction of underpass (Box culvert of 190m) on the east-west (Accra-Aflao road), total road length of 4km, four pedestrian bridges, five serving roads for right turning traffic, traffic signals and street lights and drainage, ramps and landscape.
According to him, agreements concerning the second phase of the project would be signed in the next two weeks for construction works to commence in the fourth quarter of this year, expanding the interchange from two to three tiers. He thanked drivers for their patience during the first phase and encourage them to exhibit same patience for the realization of the second phase.
Ambassador of Japan to Ghana, Tsutomu Himeno and Chief Representative of JICA Ghana, Yasumichi Araki expressed excitement about the long standing relationship between Ghana and Japan since 1963, and their enormous support for Ghana in the areas of road, health, agriculture, industry and other significant sectors.
They expressed gratitude to all whose continues effort made the construction of the project a reality. They advised authorities in charge to maintain the quality of the facility and keep safely for road user.