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Fact-Check:Yet to be completed Volivo Bridge Project not a Mahama Legacy

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Claim: Social media users claim the Volivo Bridge in the Volta Region of Ghana is one of the legacies of former President John Dramani Mahama

Verdict: More context needed. The John Mahama-led administration signed the loan agreement but the Volivo Bridge construction commenced under the current government.

Full Text

There have been mixed reactions from Ghanaians over the yet to be completed Volivo Bridge in the Volta Region of Ghana with some commending the incumbent government but others seem unhappy with the move. 

Scores of communicators and activists from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) believe the yet to be completed Volivo Bridge project is one of the legacies of former president, John Dramani Mahama, which is inherited by the Akufo Addo led administration.

Some activists on Facebook have cited a November 2016 Facebook post by North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakawa, as evidence to the claim.

The text of the message reads “Congrats to all Ghanaian Farmers. In North Tongu, our farmers are particularly excited about the positive impact this week’s parliamentary approve to Volivo to Dorfor Adidome Bridge over the volta river will have on their Economic fortunes”

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Image source:Yayra Koku(NDC ACTIVIST) on Facebook

The bridge upon completion will be an asphalted dual carriageway with ancillary facilities including bicycle lanes, pedestrian walkways, a mini rest stop and toll bridges. It will also be Ghana’s second longest.

The project, when completed, will complement the government’s effort to develop the Eastern Corridor road which is the shortest route connecting the Greater Accra, Volta, Northern and Upper East regions.

This claim has generated some debate on social media about whether or not the project belongs to the erstwhile government or it was started by the current government. Therefore, we decided to fact check and verify the claim.

Verification

On December 8, 2016, Ghana signed a $100-million (11,239 billion Yen) loan agreement with the Japan International Cooperation Agency  for the construction of a 540-metre long cable-stay steel bridge over the Volta River at Volivo and Dofor Adidome in the Volta Region of Ghana after the Parliament of Ghana had approved it.

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Image source:Japan International Cooperation Agency website

The then Minister of Finance, Mr. Seth Terkper, signed the loan agreement on behalf of the country while Mr. Kaoru Yoshimura, Japan’s Ambassador to Ghana, signed for his country.

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Image Source:Citinewsroom.com

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Image Source:Citinewsroom.com

The loan then had an interest rate of 0.1 per cent for the construction and 0.01 per cent for the consulting services with repayment period of 40 years, including 10 years grace period.

Due to the 2016 elections which went in favor of the then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Mahama led government could not kick start the project.

Fast-forward in August 2019, the Akufo Addo led government announced that the Volivo Bridge  project will kickstart in 2020. This is after the erstwhile Mahama led administration had approved the loan agreement from the Japanese government for the project in December 2016.

Also, per our checks from the 2016 Green Book of the National Democratic Congress also dubbed Accounting to the People, there was no indication of the start or the completion of the said project.

Conclusion

The loan for the Volivo Bridge project was acquired by the John Mahama led NDC government but its construction was started by the Akufo Addo led NPP government. 

This report was produced under the Dubawa Student Fact-checking Project aimed at offering students in tertiary schools aspiring to take up roles in the profession the opportunity to acquire real-world experience through verification and fact-checking. 

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