Ensure due diligence in award of contracts - Minister
The Minister of Roads and Highways, Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, has tasked officials and agencies within the ministry responsible for awarding contracts to ensure that due diligence is done to avoid contract variations.
He said apart from the unnecessary delay in the completion of contracts, such variations also called for extra funds to enable the contractors to execute the work successfully.
Alhaji Sulemana, who made the call at the end of a two-day inspection tour of roads projects in the northern part of the Central Region, conceded that some of the delays by the contractors were as a result of technical challenges, which could not be attributed solely to the contractors.
The inspection tour, which began in Swedru, took the minister, who was accompanied by directors at the ministry and sector agencies through road projects from Yamoransa-AssinFosu; Assin Fosu-Twifo Praso; Dunkwa-Ayamfuri; Ayamfuri-Diaso; Dunkwa-Kyekyewere; Kyekyewere-Kumakrom; Dunkwa-Obuasi, among other roads.
Alhaji Sulemana reiterated the ministry’s earlier decision that no new contracts would be awarded until the current ones were executed but was quick to add that the directive was not sacrosanct and where there were emergencies such as a collapse of a bridge or roads they could be attended to immediately.
He admitted that the road network in that part of the country was really in a bad shape and was confident the government would be able to fix them to help develop the northern portion of the Central and parts of the Western Region which were very important in the contribution to the growth of the national economy.
Alhaji Sulemana charged contractors to ensure that contracts given them were well-executed and within time schedules to ensure that the intended purpose of awarding the contract was realised.
At Kumakrom, where the minister inspected a six-kilometre road from Kyekyewere to Kumakrom, being executed by Siltek Construction Ltd, he was happy with the progress of work and encouraged him to meet the deadline.
The Managing Direcrtor of the company, Mr Isaac Ojo, assured the minister that he would be able to complete ahead of time.
K.B. Aannan Ltd
Explaining the delay in the execution of one of the road projects being executed by K.B. Annan Ltd, the Central Regional Director of the Ghana Highways, Mr Michael Okine, said originally, the 24-month contract was to have commenced in June 2011, but was yet to be completed because of “technical challenges” and assured that all those challenges over the work had begun in earnest.
He said as it was, the duration of the contract would have to be extended to enable the contractor to execute the work, explaining that when it was realised that it was not possible for the work to be completed within the 24-month period, an extra eight- month grace period was given, “and even that, he cannot complete within that time frame because of the back and forth.”
The Project Director of the company, Mr Kow Sam, explained that the delay could not be laid under his doorsteps and said he was happy all those challenges had been resolved and the contractor was on site and work was ongoing.
He said as a responsible company, he was aware of the inconvenience the delay in the execution of the project was causing and assured that there would not be a break in the work.