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Business News of Friday, 19 February 2021

Source: 3 News

US$570 million motorway expansion contract: Amoako Attah exercised wrong discretion - Fuseini

The minister-designate for Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako Attah exercised wrong discretion when he signed a multi-million dollar Accra –Tema Motorway expansion contract, former Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, has asserted.

This comes after Mr Amoako Attah defended the signing of the contract even though it did not have the approval of cabinet and Parliament, at his vetting by the Appointments Committee of Parliament.

The Roads and Highways Minister on December 16 2020 signed a $ 570 million dollar contract with Portuguese contractor, Mota-Engil to extend and upgrade the Accra-Tema motorway.

Per the agreement, the 19.5km Motorway constructed in 1965 during the Nkrumah regime, will be reconstructed and expanded into a two-lane dual carriageway, with an extra lane added in urban areas.

It will also include the construction of a number of interchanges. The entire project is expected to be completed within 48 months.

However, the minority caucus in Parliament has demanded the termination of the contract because it was solely sourced without basis. They argued that indigenous road contractors can better execute the project.

But appearing before the Appointments Committee on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 Mr. Amoako Atta justified his decision to sole source the contract to a foreign contractor insisting that no local contractor has the capacity to undertake the Motorway Extensions Project.

He also admitted that he signed the agreement, even though cabinet and parliament had not approved same. He pointed out that the Public Procurement Authority and the Central Tender Review Board of the ministry approved the deal.

The nominee also disclosed the ministry and Mota –Engil haven’t settled on financing for the project but quickly added that “ if Mota Engil is not able to bring the funding, any company; it could be even a Ghanaian company, can arrange some funding for the project and work with Mota Engil to provide technical advice so be it.”

When pushed by the minority Chief Whip and MP for Asawase Mubarak Mohammed Muntaka to explain why he signed a contract which has not been approved by cabinet and Parliament, Mr Amoako Atta said he had not signed the final contract rather, a commercial contract.

Speaking to Nana Akua Abrampah Mensah, on 3FM’s news analysis program, Hot Edition on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, in relation Alhaji Inusah Fuseini said the Minister exercised wrong discretion.

He believes the minister should have first secured the funding before signing the contract.

“Since the decision in STX case, we have always said in parliament that the loan agreement, as well as the commercial contract, must come to parliament.”

Mr Inusah Fuseini advised the minister-designate for now to keep the signed agreement as a declaration of intent, in a form of a memorandum of understanding.

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