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Business News of Monday, 25 September 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Osafo Maafo laments inflated cost of road projects

According to Osafo Maafo, some road contractors intentionally inflate the cost of roads

Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo, has bemoaned what he calls corrupt practices within the country’s road sector.

According to him, some road contractors intentionally inflate the cost of roads, adding that, such practices have had adverse effect on the country’s fudning sources.

Speaking at an event to officially commence the upgrade of the Accra-Tema Motorway on Monday, Osafo- Maafo said the cost of road construction in Ghana must conform to international standards.

“If you go to the score card of the Ghana Institution of Engineers, they describe the sources of our poor performance in the road sector. They talk about lack of adequate funds, technical know-how, but they also talk about corruption. It’s something we should also pay attention to. We must have value for money in the road sector.”

He argued that “the cost of construction is basically international depending on the material you use and therefore we cannot have a situation where the cost of construction in Ghana is on a different planet.”

“The cost of construction of roads should conform to international standards. We have a situation where the cost per kilometre of our road network is higher than international standards even when you work out the material aspect. This calls for a very close look at the matter. It cannot be and it should not be and therefore I’m appealing to our financial partners who will join us in the PPP that we are interested in having value for money,” he added.

‘90% of Mahama road contracts awarded by restricted tender
This comes on the back of government’s revelation that over ninety percent of road projects awarded by the Mahama administration went through the process of restricted tendering.

The Deputy Minister for Roads, Kwabena Owusu Aduomi, told Citi News that over 540 road projects were opened to just a selected number of contractors for bidding.

“What we realized was that, more than 90% of road projects were restricted tendering. Restricted tendering is more of sole sourcing or few contractors being selected to bid for a project,” he added.

Mahama gov’t left GHc11.6bn debt at Roads Ministry

Another Deputy Roads Minister, Anthony Karbo, had also complained that the previous administration left close to GH¢ 11.6 billion debt at the Ministry.
“The debt overhang in the Ministry is huge; close to GH¢ 11.6 billion in commitments, all contracts put together and that is big,” Anthony Karbo said.