Ashanti

Minister orders car dealers at Sofoline Interchange to quit by January 20

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Assembled cars for sale within the Interchange

An aerial view of the Sofoline Interchange

The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah, has directed all car dealers and squatters within the Sofoline Interchange enclave to vacate the place by January 20, 2022.

A statement issued by the Regional Co-ordinating Council on January 13, 2022, indicated that the car dealers and all illegal occupants had, at a meeting , been given up to December 31, 2021 to vacate.

According to the statement, most of the occupants had since heeded the directive and moved accordingly, while others are still adamant.

The minister, per the statement, indicated that China Geo Engineering Corporation, the contractor executing the project,wants access to the site to commence landscaping and other ancillary beautification activities.

He said failure on the part of the illegal occupants to leave the area will further delay the already delayed Sofoline Interchange project.

Minister Osei-Mensah cautioned that any vehicle or items found in the area after the January 20 deadline would be removed at a cost to the owners.

The second phase of the Sofoline interchange project consists of the reconstruction of the 11-kilometre six lane dual carriageway and drainage facilities, among others.

Ex-President J.A. Kufuor cut the sod for the construction of the Sofoline Interchange project in May 2008 at an initial estimated cost of GHC73 million to be completed in 36 months.

The contract sum of the project was later revised to GHC99.9 million.

In November 2018, the government released GHC30 million to China Geo Engineering Corporation to complete the project, which was then 75% complete.

Another payment of GHC2.2 billion was further made by the government through the Ministry of Finance.

In spite of these interventions over the years, the project has suffered repeated stoppages due to inadequate funds.

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