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General News of Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Source: GNA

Roads and Highways Minister directs appraisal of ongoing road contracts

Kwasi Amoako-Attah, Minister for Roads and Highways Kwasi Amoako-Attah, Minister for Roads and Highways

Kwasi Amoako-Attah, Minister for Roads and Highways, has directed regional heads of departments of Urban and Feeder Roads to do a critical analysis of all existing road contracts for repackaging and re-awarding to meet set targets.

He said the directive was according to President Nana Addi Dankwa Akufo-Addo's directive that all ongoing infrastructure projects including those commenced during Former President Mahama's time should be completed.

He said such appraisal and analytical exercise was needed to determine the state of contract works for continuation or otherwise.

He said it would demand termination of some contracts, but added, "Where the contractor cannot be faulted for the slow pace or any infractions in the contract works, recommend the necessary support to scale up the project."

Mr Amoako-Attah indicated that there were ongoing road projects in all the 16 regions across the country and therefore called for professionalism and integrity on the part of agencies under the ministry in carrying out the exercise geared towards achieving the government's transformation agenda.

He gave the directive during an address at the annual Strategic Management Meeting of the Ministry in Koforidua on the theme, "Sustaining the Gains:2021 Year of Roads."

The minister charged engineers of the Ministry to step up their roles to prevent shoddy road contract works, which he described as a bane to the ministry.

He reiterated that the setting up of the Classification Committee by the Ministry was to upgrade the performance of contractors in line with the declaration of 2021 as another year of roads and not to deprive any contractor.

The Minister explained further that the move was to eliminate several abandoned road projects and shoddy works from the system, and entreated contractors to take advantage of the classification to upgrade themselves to meet the required standards in the sector, going forward.

Mr Seth Acheampong, Eastern Regional Minister said the Region had benefited fairly from the 2020 declaration of roads and appealed to all stakeholders to position themselves strategically to build on the gains made in 2020.

Mr Sitsofe David Addo, Director, Planning, Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) said seven new bridges including Dambai, Daboya, and Yeji-Old Makango would be constructed in the country as part of a four-year plan to improve road asset preservation and access.

He said Iture bridge at Elmina, Ankobra bridge, Dunkwa-on-Offin bridge, Awusigoe steel bridge, Apramdo steel bridge, Nasia Steel bridge, Pwalugu steel bridge, Kamba steel bridge, and the Kpalba steel bridge, have all been earmarked for rehabilitation under the plan.

He mentioned also that priority corridor road projects including Noepe-Akatsi-Sogakope-Accra-Takoradi-Elubo in the coastal corridor, Accra-Kumasi-Tamale-Bolgatanga-Paga in the central corridor, Tema-Asutusare-Asikuma junction-Hohoe-Nkwanta-Yendi-Nankpanduir-Kulungugu in the Eastern corridor, Elubo-Sunyani-Bamboi-Sawla-Hamile in the Western corridor, and Wa-Navrongo-Bolgatanga-Polimakom in the Northern corridor would be improved as well.

Mr Addo said the road asset preservation was to ensure a shift from the current trend where about 96 per cent of the budget went into new road construction leaving only four per cent for maintenance and preservation of existing road infrastructure.

He also noted that the laboratory machines used in monitoring road contracts were obsolete and therefore could not monitor ongoing projects effectively.

He appealed for new machines to strengthen the systems for better outcomes. The two-day meeting organized by the Ministry of Roads and Highways was attended by representatives from agencies under the Roads and Highways Ministry to strategize for the 2021 year of roads.

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