Hon. Kwame Governs Agboza, Member of Parliament(MP) for Adaklu constituency in the Volta Region, has called on government to as a matter of necessity expedite action on its road contract review implementation to save farmers from losing their produce due to bad roads.
According to the MP, the delay in resumption of work on roads in areas where contract work has been stalled as a result of the suspension directive from the government, has rendered most cocoa and other farming areas roads inaccessible across the country.
Speaking to The Republic shortly after asking a question to the Minister for Roads and Highway on the floor of parliament last Wednesday, Mr Agboza said, works on roads across the country was halted by the government on grounds of auditing roads contracts awarded by the previous government.
He said, for well over nine months,the government has failed or refused to tell Ghanaians what has come of the review report if indeed there was any and when would work resume or rewarded for construction on the affected roads.
” Mr Speaker, I want to ask the Minister for Roads and Highways if road contracts in force up till the end of December 2016 are under any review and if so, when the review will be completed.”
However giving response to the question, the sector Minister, Hon Kwesi Amoako-Atta said, the Ministry of Roads and Highways is undertaking a comprehensive review of all projects in its portfolio.
According to him, “the Ministry and its Road Agencies are also discussing any other challenges affecting Contractors’ output which include, inadequate contractor capacity, inadequate supply and scarcity of construction materials at project sites.”
He further told parliament the delays in payment for work done and the difficulties of contractors in accessing credit facilities.
Mr Amoako-Atta explained that, the overall objective of the contract review was to achieve value-for-money on the projects and ensure that contract payments are adequately covered by the Road and Consolidated Funds.
He gave the categories of projects that are being reviewed as projects been awarded but are yet to commence to be reviewed and rationalized for termination or re-scoping, those that have low percentage progress in relation to the time elapsed would also be reviewed and rationalized for termination or re-scoping.
Additionally, the Roads Minister said projects that have long exceeded their completion dates without tangible reasons for extension would be terminated, repackaged and new contracts procured on competitive basis.
So far, he stated,”the review would also tackle the value for money by minimizing the variation of ongoing projects that increase the project cost and scope of works.”
The review process, he said has been completed by “the working team and the recommendations are being studied for implementation.”
But Hon Agboza said,he was unimpressed with the response from the Minister on grounds that, the action has brought untold difficulties on communities that should have had their roads completed by now.
He said, the Minister and for that matter the government decision was bone out of political interest and that farmers and others commuters should not suffer for such, adding that, he doubt if the report was even read as the minister claimed.
Nonetheless, Mr Agboza reiterated his call on the government to hasten the process or work to resume on roads to open up most deprive ares for development
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Felix Engsalige Nyaaba