The Ministry of Roads and Highways, will from January 2022 take measures to ensure that contractors without proven capacity will not be given any road contract.
Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, Minister of Roads and Highways, warned that road contractors who abandon sites would have their contract agreements terminated.
The Minister was answering questions put before him by Members of Parliament (MPs).
“My Ministry is now determined to take bold measures from January to ensure that we end all these problems, which mostly affects we the Members of Parliament; people move to our constituencies to work; only to abandon sites and all the troubles we go through. From January we are taking steps to ensure that no contractor without proven capacity would be given road contracts,” he said.
“And I am saying this because definitely there is going to be hue and cry but my Ministry is determined to do that and I will need the support of all my colleagues (MPs) so that we change the narrative and we change the phase of road construction in this country.”
The Minister in his response to a question by Mr James Klutse Avedzi, MP, Ketu South, who asked the Minister “when the contractor working on Agorve Junction to Tadzewu Road would return to site to complete work after leaving site in 2017”, said the Agorve Junction to Tadzewu road was 21.40km long gravel road located in the Ketu North Municipality of the Volta Region.
He said a contract for the upgrading of the road was awarded under the “Bituminous Surfacing of Tadzewu-Devego-Agorve Junction”; adding that construction works commenced on 7th October 2014 and was scheduled to be completed on 7th October 2015.
He said the completion date was extended to 7th October 2017, due to issuance of a variation order for additional works.
Mr Amoako-Atta said the contractor abandoned the works after executing 21.4km of sub-base, base and primer seal which constituted 71 per cent physical completion.
He said the final seal and road furniture works were outstanding.
With regards to the future programme, the Minister said “Due to the long delay in completing the works, the Department of Feeder Roads will initiate the necessary contractual measures to terminate the contract and repackage for award.”
Mr Avedzi also asked the Minister on “when the contractor working on Ehi to Agbozume and Dzodze to Penyi roads will return to site to complete work after leaving site in 2017”.
The Minister in his response said the Ehi to Agbozome and Dzodze to Penyi roads were gravel surface feeder roads located in the Ketu North Municipality of the Volta Region.
He said the Ehi to Agbozome and Dzodze to Penyi roads were packaged together with other roads under a contract titled “Bitument Surfacing of Ehi-Dzodze and Ehi Town Roads (14.3km), Agbozome-Ehi (8.8km) and Toodome-Toh Kpalime Dzemeni (21.80km) Feeder Roads (44.90km).
He said the contract was awarded on 7th December, 2016 and commenced on 3rd February, 2017 for completion within 24 months.
He said after the rationalization exercise in 2017, the Ehi-Dzodze and Ehi town roads’ (14.30km) project was re-scoped to bitumen surfacing.
He said the contractor had since failed to mobilise back to site; stating that warning letters were issued to the contractor but to no avail.
He said the Department of Feeder Roads was taking the necessary steps to terminate the contract after which a repackaging would be done for the award.
Mr Avedzi informed the Minister that the Ehi to Agbozume and Dzodze to Penyi roads construction contract was not awarded on 7th December, 2016, and that contract document available to him indicated it was awarded on 28th July, 2016.
“My follow up question is to find out from the Honourable Minister the percentage of work done by the contractor before he left site? In the first question the Minister was able to give me that work done was 71 per cent but for this particular question, the Minister didn’t tell us the percentage of work done. Can the Minister be kind enough to tell us what percentage of work was done before the contractor abandoned the site?” Mr Avedzi stated.
Mr Amoako-Atta responded that at the time of vacating the project site, the contractor had done 34.70 per cent of work.
Sitting has been adjourned to Monday, December 13th, 2021 at 1000 hours.