General News Thu, 12 Aug 2021

Revoke US$570 million Tema motorway contract – Minority to government

• Over $500m has been projected by the Roads Ministry for the expansion of the Tema Motorway

• But the Minority wants the contract abrogated because it has not gone through due process in Parliament

• The contract was awarded to a Portuguese company

Minority members in Parliament have demanded that the agreement which contains the $570m Tema Moorway expansion project must be terminated.

The Minority stated that the contract breached Article 1815 of the law.

Awarded by the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako-Atta, to Portuguese company, Mota-Engil, the said contract has not been approved by parliament but received a go-ahead from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA).

The Minority, citing Article 1815, which required that all international business and economic transactions to be ratified by Parliament, further explained, “The process leading to the selection of the contractor is what we have always cautioned the government against. If the government decides that the PPP process would not work and they still needed a developer and Mota-Engil’s has failed and cannot raise the funds, Mota Ingil’s is an international company and it falls directly under article 1815.”

According to the report by Graphic Online, Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee, Governs Kwame Agbodza, reiterated that the agreement was “illegal” noting that Ghanaian contractors are capable of constructing the 27-kilometre road network.

Addressing the Parliamentary press corps, Governs Agbodza said “The government of Ghana owes Ghanaian contractors who worked on roads to the tune of almost GH¢8 billion. If you are no longer going to get any support financially from Mota-Engil to do this project, what is the essence of signing a design and construct agreement illegally with Mota-Engil?

“Twenty-seven kilometres of roadwork can be done by Ghanaian contractors. So, we are calling on the minister to abrogate that illegal contract with Mota Engil. They are not qualified,” he added.

The National Democratic Congress MP, criticizing the Roads Minister’s decision of undue process, said he ought to have come to Parliament before entering into the agreement but the minister relied on “so-called approval” from the PPA.

“Indeed, PPA’s approval to entities to embark on sole sourcing does not negate the constitutional provision to seek approval from Parliament. So, clearly, the minister has breached the constitution and should know that people have been to jail and have been fired because of the breach of this Article,” he said.

He added that: “The PPA never gave you the authorisation to sidestep Parliament. They only said you could go and do sole-sourcing.”

Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Roads and Highways, Nasir Ahmed Yartey, clarified that a commercial agreement was signed based on interest. In his interview with the media house, he said the financial agreement has not been signed.

He assured that, “Once the financial agreement is signed, it will be submitted to Parliament for ratification."

He maintained that the Ministry is not in the habit of doing things against the law. He said the Roads Ministry is a responsible one.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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