General News of Saturday, 15 December 2018
Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako Atta has told Parliament that the Akufo-Addo administration has, since January 2017, awarded road contracts amounting to 6.5 billion Ghana cedis.
This sum covers 258 roads and 20 bridge projects, totalling a little over 3,000 kilometres.
Answering questions in Parliament, the sector minister indicated that the Ghana Highway Authority, the Department for Feeder Roads and the Department of Urban Roads have been responsible for implementing the projects.
“The ministries through its agencies has awarded 258 different road projects across the nation. This is a little over 3000km and 20 different bridges at an estimated contract cost of Ghc6.5 billion.”
‘We’ll invest heavily in roads, other infrastructure’
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, announced in the 2019 budget statement that government will be investigating massively in road, railways and air transport, from a variety of funding sources.
As it is often done in many budget presentations, the Minister listed a number of roads to be constructed in almost all ten regions of the country.
As usual, many roads that have never been completed despite receiving mention in previous budget presentations were mentioned again.
This pledge came at a time when many road users across the country, have been expressing rage at government over the state of their roads.
“Mr. Speaker, infrastructure, both hard and soft, is the backbone of economic development and growth, as well as a source of jobs and wealth for a majority of people. In a rapidly changing global marketplace, traditional infrastructure like electricity and power, transport and logistics, water and sanitation, roads, highways, and railways have combined with new, mostly soft infrastructure like digitization of government services to enable emerging economies like ours leapfrog the development path to prosperity. Mr. Speaker, this Government, is committed to embarking on an integrated infrastructural development programme across the country that will move goods, food items and people from one location to another that will create jobs and prosperity and ensure value for money for Ghana as well as position Ghana as the transportation, energy and logistics hub in the region.”
MP angry over $1m for temporary road construction site under $646m Sinohydro deal
NDC MP for Adaklu constituency and Ranking Member for Parliament’s Roads and Transport Committee, Kwame Agbodza, recently expressed disappointment in what he believes are unjustifiable allocations in the $646 million Sinohydro deal.
According to him, the unreasonable amounts allocated to some activities in the agreement may be a deliberate attempt by some elements to fleece the country.
Kwame Agbodza said he is concerned that the government is unable to readily provide information on some aspects of the agreements although they were ideally necessary before the bill could be passed.
He said, “this particular agreement comes up with too many unknowns. We are trying to borrow $646 million from Synohydro to build 441 kilometres of road and 2 interchanges.”
“Whiles we were told at the committee level that the Bills of Quantities that were prepared includes tax, the contract suggests otherwise that the figures do not include taxes. We also noticed that this is quite a big project and we were asking whether the government sought the Public Procurement approval because it is a sole sourced project, that one was also not answered. We asked whether there will be value for money audit, we were told that will be done later…I don’t know why very critical things like these were things we should do later,” the MP said.