The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ho- Central, Mr. Benjamin Kpodo, has expressed concern over the slow pace at which construction work on the dual carriage road from Sokode to Ho is being carried out.
According to him, work on the project has even now come to a halt, though he raised the issue in Parliament and the sector Minister was invited to give answers.
Mr. Kpodo said he personally took pictures of the dual carriage road, where some parts had grown weeds because the contractor had stopped work. According to Kpodo, when the pictures were shown to the Minister, he assured him that the contractor would resume work, a promise which has not been honoured.
The MP, who was addressing the press to officially launch a book containing his achievements as a legislator, alleged that anytime he raised the Sokode-Ho dual carriage road project issue before the appropriate authorities, they only told stories that did not exist.
Mr. Kpodo also alleged that a GH¢24 million certificate was presented to the Roads and Highway Ministry for the construction of the Sokode-Etoe-University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) dual carriage road, but not even a cedi was paid to the contractor.
He said, as a law maker who represents the people, he has been asking questions relating to the delay of the projects and observed that the contractor working on the Sokode-Ho dual carriage road project is willing to work, but the sector ministry is rather failing the contractor by not releasing money for the project to be executed.
However, when The Chronicle visited the offices of China Railways No5 Engineering Ghana Limited, the contractor working on the Sokode-Ho dual carriage road, a staff who pleaded anonymity said the company started the project with zeal in 2016, but lack of proper financing killed it.
According to the staff, from 2016 to April 2017 no payment was made to the company, though they had pre-financed aspects of the project. The staff said the Ministry of Roads and Highways later paid them GH¢10.6 million in April 2017, and since then, no payment has made. He alleged that work they had executed so far amounted to GH¢36 million.
He continued that the company had to stop work in February 2018, and the sector Minister visited the company at Sokode-Etoe to assure them that payment would be made for them to continue with the project.
After the Minister’s assurance, he said only GH¢1.1 million payment was made on February 13, 2019. According to him, they stopped work after they finished utilising the GH¢1.1million.
The staff said the total contract sum is GH¢100 million and the project should have been completed within 18 months, but unfortunately, due to irregular payment, much has not been done, admitting that not even half of work on the project had been executed.
The Member of Parliament for Ho West, Mr. Emmanuel Kwasi Bedzrah, who launched the book, observed that members of parliament were basically lawmakers in the past, but demands on MPs to bring development to their areas was high, and commended Mr. Kpodo for the launch of the book, which enumerates his achievements in terms of the development projects.