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18 August 2017

Government to abrogate 136 road contracts

kasoa road

About 136 road contracts awarded by the previous government are to be terminated because of the inability of contractors to execute the projects.

A total of 130 other projects have been billed for re-scoping so as to restructure the contracts to meet deadlines, the report by the Roads and Highways Project Rationalisation Committee (HPRC) recommended.

It sanctioned for continuation, 281 projects that are at various stages of completion. The report was presented to the sector Minister, Mr. Kwasi Amoako-Atta in Accra on Wednesday.

The committee was constituted when investigations conducted by the ministry revealed that the Ghana Road Fund owed contractors over GHc 10 billion for executed and non-executed projects.

It was set up in May to assess and rationalise outstanding road contracts and projects to enable the ministry to decide on the projects.

The committee was chaired by the Deputy Minister of Roads, Mr. Kwabena Owusu Aduomi was also tasked to identify modalities and criteria used in the award of each contract, the age of the project, the amount paid and the source of funding.

Presenting the report to the Minister, Mr Aduomi said that out of the total 547 projects, the Ghana Highway Authority awarded 240 out of which 79 have been penciled for termination, 37 for re-scoping and 124 for continuation. The Department of Urban Roads, he said awarded for 182 contracts out of which 17 are to be terminated, 101 for continuation and 64 others for re-scoping.

In addition, Mr Aduomi indicated that the Department of Feeder Roads awarded 125 contracts of which 40 are to be terminated, 29 billed for re –scoping and 56 are to continue.

Mr Aduomi said the total GoG commitments to the various contracts which stood at about GHc 10.38 billion was reduced to GHc 5.7 billion after the assessment by the committee.

He, however stated that the amount saved for the ministry does not include outstanding amounts for certified payments, while the total amounts for variations and interests due to delay in payments was also not known.

Mr Amoako- Atta commended the committee for the good work done and assured that the report would be analysed for appropriate actions.

He said the road fund was not established to rehabilitate roads but for periodic maintenance, a situation that he said had created serious financial crisis that could paralyse the fund.

Mr Amoako-Atta questioned the rationale behind the awarding of about 90 per cent of the contracts under sole sourcing which was against the procurement law.

The Minister said the recommendations would be implemented swiftly without fear or favour to serve as a guide to all those working under the ministry.

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