A US$9 million West Africa Transit and Trade facilitation Project (WATTFP) is set to take off at Anyinasuso in the Offinso South District of the Ashanti Region to facilitate trade and transit within landlocked nations.
Another TWATTFP is to be constructed at Zabzugu in the Northern Region. The project has been awarded to Noyini Commercials Limited, headed by Ms Lydia Lamisi Akanvaviba, with SAI Consulting, in association with BIJOS Consulting Limited Ghana, as consultants.
The World Bank project, expected to be completed in 10 months, would help track cargo vehicles from all land locked countries like Mali and Burkina Faso that shuttle between Tema and Paga on the international route which passes through Offinso. The Ashanti Regional Director of the Ghana Highways Authority, Mr. Joseph Atsu Amedzake, indicated at a ground breaking ceremony for the project at Anyinasuso, that the rest stops will reduce drowsiness and destruction along the Tema-Paga road corridor.
Mr. Atsu stressed that the GHA will monitor the project to ensure that it is completed on schedule. "We will monitor the implementation of the project to ensure the project is delivered within the requisite budget," the Ashanti Regional Highway Director assured. The consultant, Mr. Bismarck Okutu, said the project is designed such that it will accommodate the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, to ensure that trucks plying the route have genuine documents and have paid their taxes.
According to Mr. Okutu, the WATTFP will see modern edifices such as a fuel station, shops, wash rooms, mosque and bedrooms for drivers whose vehicle would be detained for days. He indicated that the left side 3.9 acres of the road will be used to build structure that will house staff of Customs, while 16.5 acres on the right of the road will house the rest of the facilities earmarked for the project.
The Deputy Ashanti Regional Head of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Mr. Kwame Yeboah, noted that the project will help to track cargo vehicles heading for Mali and other landlocked countries that leave the port but swiftly turn around to sell the consignment to Ghanaians without paying taxes to the Ghana government. Nana Wiafe Akenten III, Omanhene of the Offinso Traditional Area, who presided over the sod-cutting ceremony, thanked the government for the project, which, he said, would offer employment for the local people.