Former President John Dramani Mahama has pledged to complete all unfinished projects within a year of returning into office if voted for in the December 2020 elections.
Mr Mahama is seeking re-election as President of Ghana in the upcoming general elections to be held on December 7, 2020.
“When I come back into office, what I have suggested to do is we will start no new projects in the first year. And what we will do is we will gather all the resources available to continue and finish all the projects that have been abandoned”, Mr Mahama said in an interview with XYZ TV on Sunday, August 23, 2020.
He bemoaned the practice where governments abandon projects commissioned by their predecessors to rot, saying some schools, roads, hospitals, electricity poles, water systems amongst others which he (Mahama) started, have been abandoned by the Akufo-Addo government.
He described the practice as a tragedy on the country’s development, saying “That is the tragedy of our country, we do not continue what was left off by the previous government especially in the transition between my administration and Nana Addo’s administration. I think that in previous administrations, efforts have been made to keep development going.”
Mr Mahama said “I haven’t seen a case where there have been such a sudden directive to stop work, while government audit projects. Projects can be ongoing while you do audit and you can make the adjustment when necessary”.
“From Rawlings to Kufuor to Prof Mills, myself, there have never been any blanket directive to stop but unfortunately this one happened in 2017. Projects were suspended across board and in many cases they haven’t even started”, he continued.
Citing the Eastern Corridor Road as an example, the former president said the road was in a bad shape, “We just came down the Eastern Corridor Road and it is in a bad shape. This is a project that was conceptualized by Prof. Mills and at the time we left in 2016, there were contractors working in the various segments of the road, all that work has stopped and the road has deteriorated.”
This, Mr Mahama said can lead to financial loss. “When you are working on things like roads, when you develop it to a certain stage and you don’t finish it, then what happens is it deteriorates. When you come back to do it, it becomes even more expensive”.
“That is not my money, the money that was used to do that project is not from my pocket, it came from the pocket of the tax payers, and so when you recklessly abandon projects like that then what you do is you waste the money of the tax payers”, he said.