Government has secured a loan of €92 million (GH¢588,031,747.27) to finance the design and construction of the second phase of the Obetsebi Lamptey Interchange.
Phase 2 of the project is expected to complement Phase 1 by constructing another flyover on the Ring Road – Korle Bu stretch to make it a three-tier Interchange.
This will enhance traffic flow at the Obetsebi Circle and the road networks in its immediate vicinity and improve the stormwater carrying capacity of the main drains.
Parliament on Friday approved the loan, a United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF) facility agreement between government, represented by the Ministry of Finance and HSBC Bank PLC, United Kingdom, for €67.210 million and a Term Loan Facility for €30 million for the financing of the project.
The agreements were laid in House on 12th March 2020.
Also READ: Coronavirus prank: two MPs clash
The report of the Finance Committee presented by Chairman Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah indicates that the government recognizes the importance of road transport in facilitating the economic development of the nation.
A National Transport Policy was therefore formulated by the Ministry Roads and Transport under the auspices of the government to create an integrated, efficient, cost-effective and sustainable transport system in response to the needs of society, supporting growth and poverty.
Construction of Phase 1 of the project is currently ongoing which consisted of the construction of the Graphic Road-Winneba Road Flyover to end at Pamprom in Kaneshie.
Successful completion of the second flyover is expected to reduce travel time and vehicle operating costs and improve the road network in the immediate environs of the interchange.
The project will also improve accessibility and ease of movement of pedestrians and non-motorized vehicle users, especially of persons with disabilities and also improve the capacity of the drainage system within the area.
The Obetsebi Lamptey Circle experiences traffic congestion daily that results in long travel times and high vehicle operating costs with a high traffic stream mostly of commercial transport.
Additionally, the Ring Road and the Graphic-Winneba Road are designated Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) routes, hence the need to make provision for future incorporation of BRT in the road network.
The project is therefore designed to contribute positively to the resolution of these problems and many more including enhancing the capacity of the undersized road networks of the Awudome and Kaneshie stretches.
In another development, Parliament has approved a tax waiver on project materials and equipment for the construction of an advanced research center for infectious disease at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research.
The waived taxes include Domestic VAT, Domestic NHIL, and Domestic Getfund Levy amounting to GH¢3.712 million.
The project is expected to improve facilities for genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics and provide a platform for cutting-edge research into chronic diseases and drug discovery.
The Noguchi Institute’s contribution has been invaluable especially during major epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, H1N1 Pandemic Flu, Lassa Fever, Yellow Fever, Ebola Virus, and the current Corona Virus disease among others.
The work of the Institute, the House heard, has engendered global interest and further strengthening it to serve Ghana and the West African sub-region especially during public health emergencies.
By Osumanu Al-Hassan/FrontPageGhana.com/Ghana