The Western and Western North Regional Industrial Relations Officer of the Construction and Building Materials Workers Union of the Trades Union Congress (TUC), Elijah Joe Neizer, has told The Chronicle that the Chinese government had halted all Sinohydro-funded projects in Ghana.
Joe Neizer told this reporter in a telephone interview that when Ghana decided to enter into negotiation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Chinese government, through the management of Sinohydro, requested for a meeting with the Government of Ghana (GoG) to discuss ways to amend the earlier agreement reached in connection with the Sinohydro-funded projects in the country.
This is because, prior to the reaching of the agreement between China and the government over the Sinohydro-funded projects, there was no indication of Ghana entering into negotiations with the IMF.
He claimed that the Chinese were not granted the audience they sought through the Finance Ministry, despite repeated requests. Based on this alleged refusal by the Finance Ministry to meet them, Neizer said Sinohydro held a meeting on January 7, 2023, where the decision was taking to halt all Chinese-funded infrastructural projects until further notice.
The projects he listed included the PTC roundabout flyover in Takoradi and other flyovers in Kumasi and Tamale. He explained that the Takoradi flyover was an exchange grant project funded by the Chinese government.
According to the Industrial Relations Officer, a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on December 19, 2022 halting all Chinese-funded projects, appeared to have been the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
“So if the Takoradi flyover project has been deserted by the Chinese it is because of the IMF conditionality,” he told The Chronicle.
Joe Neizer further told this reporter that 17 senior staff of Sinohydro, who were behind the Takoradi flyover project, left the country on Sunday, after laying off all the 305 workers and paying them three months’ salaries.
The PTC roundabout flyover project is a three-tier, Takoradi’s first-ever project, and when completed is expected to ease traffic congestion, and shorten travel time for commuters.
Vice President Bawumia cut the sod for the construction of the project, which is currently 80% complete. The project was expected to be completed in thirty months.