A massive legal tussle is threatening to stall the progress and completion of the $84 million four-tier Pokuase Interchange in the Ga West Municipality of the Greater Accra region.
The completion date of the interchange has had to be postponed a couple of times for various reasons, with the latest delay in the completion date attributed to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to Citi News earlier this month, Mr Kwabena Bempong, Associate Vice President of Associated Consultants Limited, a consulting company for the project said the October 2020 deadline for the completion of the project was not feasible due to what he termed ‘force majeure’.
According to Mr Bempong, the contractor on the project says the current situation delaying the project is beyond his control.
“He, the contractor has requested an extension of time. They had imported from China some parts for the bridge; like the scaffolding and the form-work and the piling equipment,” Mr Bempong said.
The pandemic he adds has also affected the human resources as workers expected from China were unable to make the trip to Ghana. In addition, some workers contracted COVID-19.
While these explanations may be true, GhanaWeb has also learned that a legal tussle between owners of the Skyview Hospital and the contractor/ Ghana government.
The stand-off has led to the project contractor unable to demolish Skyview Hospital which is visibly in the pathway of the project, and need to be pulled down before the project can be completed.
When GhanaWeb visited the project site on Wednesday, July 29 both workers on the site and staff of the hospital admitted to the existence of the legal case but refused to speak on camera for fear of prejudicing the case or falling foul of contempt of court.
Our checks revealed that the two feuding parties are poles apart in the compensation amount to be paid before the hospital building can be finally demolished.
The development is strange because Mr Kwabena Bempong earlier this year, stated that the government had released funds for compensation and that all those who were affected by the project are being paid. “The total compensation for the project is estimated at US $1.8m,” he said.
The project is said to have employed more than 400 Ghanaians, particularly people living in and around Pokuase. Mr Bempong also said most of the materials such as iron roads, sand, chippings and cement were sourced locally.
The Pokuase Interchange project comprises a four-tier interchange at Pokuase, a five-kilometre Awoshie-Pokuase road, two-kilometre Accra-Nsawam road, two-kilometre Kwabenya road and 10 kilometres of local roads to improve traffic flow in parts of Accra.