Economic Issues

Work on Kumasi Airport, Kejetia Phase II suspended over debt exchange programme, says Kumasi Mayor

Work on Kumasi Airport, Kejetia Phase II suspended over debt exchange programme, says Kumasi Mayor

asaaseradio.comMar 14, 2023 11:59 AM

This means work at the Kumasi International Airport, the Kejetia Market Phase II and the over-44-year-old maternity block at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) could suffer delays

Kumasi International Airport

The government is likely to miss deadlines in the completion of critical projects in Kumasi as it suspends all international contracts due to the ongoing debt exchange programme.×300&!2&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=NojJCHcdCC&p=https%3A//

This means work at the Kumasi international airport, the Kejetia Market Phase II and the over 44-year-old maternity block at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH) are likely to suffer delays.

The mayor of Kumasi, Samuel Pyne, who confirmed the development on the Asaase Breakfast Show on Friday (10 March) said the decision affects other key projects across the country, as the government works to secure a US$3 billion loan facility from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Pyne said “as part of the government’s debt restructuring exercise some contractual agreements needed to be suspended, which included these international contracts. It’s not only the Kejetia market; here you have the airport and the maternity and children’s block at the KATH…Some of these projects, even including parts of the Sino hydro projects, are on hold now until an agreement with the IMF.”×300&!3&btvi=2&fsb=1&xpc=kPNCBkwjrO&p=https%3A//

Media reports were rife that the construction firm executing the project, Contracta, had to dismiss over 1,500 casual workers at the Kejetia Market Phase II project pointing to this new directive. The mayor, however, jumped to its defence and further clarified that the company took this action because the services of the affected workers were no longer needed.

He explained that “when you go to the Kejetia market they are now doing steel works, they are not doing concrete works, so it doesn’t make economic sense to keep concrete workers on site and pay them for no work. You go to the airport, they have a similar situation, so this is part of cutting down operational cost.”

He gave an assurance that work on the suspended projects will be resumed when the government completes the IMF negotiations.

He said “I know that when they are done with it (the IMF deal) we are going to continue with the project. Even though we still have some staff on sight, my fear is that if we are to get it completed by February 2024, it may be moved to March or April 2024.”

Touching on the impasse between traders and managers over the installation of meters at the Kejetia market, the mayor said the assembly has taken delivery of about 3,000 meters to respond to the situation.

“We are far-reaching conclusions. The technical team have been to the market to look at the separation of the lines and we’ve taken delivery of the first tranche of about 3,000 meters to start work with. When work resumes and they are on course, then the rest will be provided after the work has started. We have given ourselves about three months for completion of the work for the individual meters,” Pyne noted.×300&!4&btvi=3&fsb=1&xpc=HYVOFiG0Sz&p=https%3A//

The traders have been agitating for separate meters to reduce the cost of paying high electricity bills.

A decision to halt payment of electricity bills by the traders forced the Electricity Company of Ghana to cut the power supply to the trading hub over a GHC5 million debt. It took the Minister of Local Government’s intervention to get the power restored.

Reporting By Irene Pomaa Kumi in the Ashanti Region

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