Tony Aidoo is wrong. Ministry of Roads is the Baddest

Thu, 9 Jan 2014 Source: Yawose, John

Former Head of the Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at the Presidencyand now unfortunately, redundant Dr. Tony Aidoo looks typical and vintage always wanting to capture the headlines for nothing. He did same the other day with his shaggy-dog fable about Akufo Ado the 2012 NPP presidential candidate, whom he described as having offensive body language and therefore needing communication therapy. I described his comments as bunkum and that he is in the habit of confusing and bamboozling listeners with flowery ideas which turn out to be nebulous, meaningless and incongruous if seriously analysed and interrogated. Make reference: https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/features/artikel.php?ID=295269.

That was some three weeks ago. Dr. Tony Aidoo is at it again, aiming to attract popular attention with his galleryish blah bla blah. He is clearly redundant and perhaps seeking attention fora Ministerial post. The current reference point on Dr.Tony Aidoo, concerns his reported fingering of the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology as the weakest Ministry in Ghana. https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=297136&comment=0#com.

Dr. Tony Aidoo condemned the Ministry that – ‘with an environment riddled with filth, water bodies severely polluted and aforcedboom in illegal mining, the ambassador-designate lamented the ministry "does not do what it is supposed to do". ---‘Pervasive destruction of natural resources caused by illegal mining and that solving these problems, are "the prime responsibilities of the ministry and as long as they continue then the ministry is not doing well", Dr, Tony Aidoo noted. He continued, "My one problem over the years as I have observed in terms of the weak spot of many governments has been the ministry of environment. It is very very weak". Dr.Tony Aidoo is disappointing me. He is being economical with the truth. Dr. Aidoo is not sounding forthright.

I am just surprised that, ifit is all about what a ministry is supposed to do and does not do well, then a serious Monitoring and Evaluation expert or Advisor should be pointing accusing fingers on other vital Ministries’ which are not doing what they are supposed to do. In other words, the Ministry ofScience and Technology which the Monitoring expert is focussing on, is a small fly with a small budget and the several giant ministries’ with huge budgets which are real liabilities must be similarly exposed.

Is Dr. Tony Aidoo saying he does not know that a Ministry like the Ministry ofRoads has over the years been a big drain and a disaster in the economy? The Ministry has not been doing what they are supposed to do, using his own criteria. They are one of the weakest and baddest Ministries ever. They never produce value for money products despite their huge budgets for development, repair and maintenance works. Dr. Aidoo should hold the horn by the bulls and stop dancing around with the Environmental Ministry being the most problematic and weakest Ministry.

What happens at the Ministries of Roads, Works, Energy, Defence, Education, Agriculture etc who deal in infrastructural works is amazing. At the Roads Ministry, for example, their engineers are there. Their technical staffs arethere. Their consultants are there. Their project managers, inspectors, Foremen, Supervisors are all there. But their presence doesn’t check shoddy and poor roadworks, one bit. The materials, concrete and gravel are all certified in the laboratory before the contractors use on the road. The works are certified at every stage by their technical staff before contractors are paid. Why do we still get shoddy road works all over? Are shoddy works certified as correct and the monies paid out and shared? Are the Ministry staffs compromised? Is there corruption?

As soon as the roads are completed and the cars start to use them, then all types and forms ofirregularities appear - the bumpy surfaces, the potholes, the depressions, the broken bridges, the faded road markings, swampy areas, the deteriorated sections, the impassable sections, the bushy sections. The recently completed Apedwa- Bunso road is bad. I don’t trust the Achimota- Nsawam Road which is still under construction. Cape Coast Road is no better. Techiman –Wa Road is getting bad. Tarkwa Road is going. Has Dr. Tony Aidoo monitored the road Ministry? Is he happy with their output? Are the roads certified correct and they get bad in few years? What sort ofTechnology are they using? Or its all corruption again and again? Is the Ministry abiding by the procurement regulations? Are the contractors inexperienced ‘party contractors’ thrust on the Supervisors? Why is the Ministry doing Sole Sourcing all over? Why are taxpayers treated like this by the Ministry ofRoads? Sole sourcing is now the norm. Ghana is suffering because there is no value formoney roads because the Engineers are corrupt. The technicians are corrupt. The Foremen are corrupt. The procurement Officers are corrupt. Their Evaluators are corrupt. The procurement Authority packed with greedy party hacks is corrupt. The Minister and other politicians in the Ministry ofRoads are corrupt. The cabinet is corrupt. The Mahama environment has stopped competition in Procurement and President Mahama is looking on. The weakest, baddest and the most wasteful Ministry is the Ministry ofRoads where huge sums are sent to the drain monthly and yearly. Dr. Aidoo must know this; otherwise he wasted everybody’s time with his high office as Policy Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at the Presidency.

Ghana will continue to repair, repair, repair and repair the roads yearly in this corrupt era. Ghana will never move forward in this environment. The Chinese loans, the World Bank loans, the Euro bonds etc will all produce shoddy works in this environment. The executive recklessness is unbearable when tender and procurement agencies are parked with party vampires and crooks that prosecute sole sourcing against the rules.Their attention should be directed to the weak spot of many governments, which is the Ministry of Roads. It is very, very weak. The roads are bad left right and centre and no one is being indicted. The bridges are collapsing and no technical liability is established. The school buildings are leaking and collapsing and no engineer is sanctioned. EG transformer at Achimota blows out every year and is just replaced at huge cost. And no one is sanctioned.

At the Tuesday press conference, President Mahama dreamt of government embarking on massive infrastructural development this year—railway lines, airports, ports, schools, health centers, housing and roads. Tell Mahama that he is joking. At the Ministries where these heavy infrastructure will be done — Ministries of Education, Defence, Ports, Works, Energy, Roads, etc, the corrupt Consultants, Engineers, Project Managers, Procurement Officers, Inspectors, Foremen, Architects, and other technical staff will do their own things, of course under the direction of equally corrupt Ministers, Presidential Staff and even the cabinet. Shoddy works will be certified for payment. Dr Tony Aidoo must do better analysis to help stop the huge rot in the construction environment.

John Yawose

Columnist: Yawose, John