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Business News of Thursday, 23 July 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Mahama govt awarded contracts by heart – Finance Minister


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Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has accused the Mahama-led government of awarding contracts recklessly without caution.

According to the Minister, most contracts during John Dramani Mahama’s erstwhile government were awarded without an idea of how to pay for them.

Ken Ofori-Atta thus claimed his outfit has initiated requested the Auditor-General to audit and validate the over GH¢11billion outstanding claims which had been approved and left by the previous government to be paid.

This move, he said, was in order to protect the public purse.

Addressing Members of Parliament while presenting the Mid-year budget review statement on Thursday, July 23, 2020, he added that “the Auditor-General validated GH¢6 billion of the GH¢11 billion claims. We await the subsequent surcharging of all those complicit in the submission of the disallowed claims from the Auditor General’s Department."

Meanwhile, government has said an approximate amount of GH¢6.4 billion has been disbursed to road contractors form the year 2017 to date.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, established that, the payment “will susbstantially help them (road contractors) meet their obligations and sustain their operation” since the current administration is focused on boosting the road sector in the country hence tagging the year 2020 as ‘The Year of Roads’.

In an update on the railway sector, he disclosed that “…We set out to modernize the railway system and effectively replace the colonial rail lay-out. Since 2017, we have committed GHC566.66 million to cover works on construction and rehabilitation of railway lines including rehabilitation of Accra to Tema (30km), Achimota to Nsawam (33km) and Kojokrom to Tarkwa (56km). The Tema to Mpakada railway line has seen approximately 56km out of the 97km of track laying works completed. The construction of the new standard guage Western Line (Takoradi to Kumasi), with the Kojokrom to Manso section, is also on course,” the Finance Minister updated the House.

The Minister added that to activate these networks, a contract for the purchase of 35 trains has also been signed with a set of nine trains to be delivered within 18 months.





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