Ibrahim Mahama denies dredging Odaw River for money

The head of Engineers & Planners, Ibrahim Mahama, has denied reports suggesting he won a contract from government to dredge the Odaw River.

Earlier today, state officials including the Chief of Staff and Local Government minister and his deputy inspected the progress of work at the site.

The dredging exercise has been facilitated by the recent demolition of structures at Old Fadama, popularly known as Sodom and Gomorrah.

Mr Ibrahim told Joy News’ Michaela Anderson it was his own initiative to help dredge the river.

Mr. Mahama briefing the entourage

He said instead of letting his workers sit idle or sending them home whilst waiting for his next contract, he decided to dredge the river to prove that “we can do these jobs within in-house. We don’t have to always wait for foreigners to come, even when the foreigners come they will hire workers like these to do the job; so why don’t we start doing it?”

Government has signed a $660 million contract with the Conti Group of Companies of the United States of America in what has been termed the Conti Project. Under the project, the Odaw River, the Lavender Hill and a number of storm drains were to be desilted and built to prevent the perennial flooding in the city.

But Mr. Mahama said the nation cannot be waiting for foreign companies like Conti when a local firm can equally do the job.

He added that it was unjustifiable for people to lose their lives because of a silted river. This is in reference to the June 3 fatal flood where tens of people died due to the overflown river.

Mr. Mahama was however unhappy his pro bono service to the nation has been misconstrued as being offered a juicy contract by the state.

“I don’t have a contract with government, there is no contract. If it is a contract it would be tendered, and everybody will see that it is tendered,” he stressed.

“A good man is never honoured in his own country; that is how I feel,” Mr. Mahama told Journalists, adding that he had contemplated stopping the dredging after a misinformation had courted public backlash for his company.

He acknowledged that government supported his company with equipment and fuel. “We have support from the local government who has given us equipment to help mother Ghana…our contribution is the personnel and supervision of the job”.

According to him, the exercise will take not less than a year to complete even though they are working day and night.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Alhaji Collins Dauda who was impressed by the work done so far confirmed that Engineers & Planners was doing the dredging for free.