Six hundred property owners who were affected by two major road projects by the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) are to receive GH?32 million, officials of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP) have disclosed.

The Chief Director of the ministry, Major Mahama Samuel Tara (retd), handed the letter authorising the Controller and Accountant-General?s Department to pay the affected property owners, through their representatives at the ministry yesterday.

The amount covers both the GH?23,11,449 owed affected persons on the Suhum-Nsawam road and the GH?8,598,676 to those on the Madina-Pantang stretch.

The money, which has been outstanding since 2005, will be paid to property owners whose structures were demolished during the construction of the Accra-Kumasi Highway Lot 6 Kwafokrom-Apedwa and the Tetteh Quarshie-Mamfe and the Madina-Pantang roads.

A 15-member group of affected persons, led by their spokesperson, Mr Kwabena Owusu Dome, was at the ministry as early as 8 a.m yesterday, having been assured of payment by officials of the ministry today (Monday).

Initially, the group was jittery, as officials of the ministry were in a meeting, but patience brought the smiles on their faces when about 5 p.m, they were finally handed the release letter for their money to be paid by the Controller and Accountant?s-General?s Department.

?I can?t describe how I feel right now. In fact, I am so happy,? Mr Owusu Dome told the Daily Graphic minutes after receiving the letter on behalf of all the affected persons on both roads.

Mr Owusu Dome, whose sawmill at Suhum was cleared during the road construction, said although the money had delayed, it was better late than never and indicated that he had been waiting for the money to revive his sawmill business which had kept the family for years.

?What I want to do now is go into farming, since establishing another sawmill factory will take some time,? he stated.

Two other affected persons, Mr Samuel Botchey, a pharmacist on the Madina-Pantang project, and Mr T. T. Agbodzi Adandey, a carpenter on the Nsawam-Suhum stretch, however, did not live to receive their money, as they both passed on about two weeks ago.

Scores of the property owners gave the government an ultimatum to pay the compensation due them or risk a blockade of the two major roads connecting Accra to other parts of the country.

The affected people include landlords, chop bar operators, mechanics, farmers, welders and electricians whose properties were demolished to pave the way for the construction of the two major roads.

From the ministry, the group went to the GHA to break the good news to the Chief Executive, Mr Micheal Abbey.

Work on the two projects are still ongoing. The 31.7-kilometre Nsawam-Suhum project, according to Mr Abbey, was about 50 per cent complete, while the Madina-Adenta stretch was nearing completion, as about 95 per cent of the works had so far been completed.

-Daily Graphic

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