The Ashanti branch Executives of Road Contractors of Ghana have raised concerns including delays in signing certificates from the office of the minister and neglect in the past by the previous regime.
They also raised concerns about the ineffectiveness in the Tendering process in awarding contracts as most ‘unqualified’ people through the help of some big hands in the past won contracts through the backdoor.
The Road contractors lodged a formal complaint to the Regional Minister at his office when they paid a courtesy call on him.
According to the branch chairman of the Contractors Association, Emmanuel Boateng, their equipment have been gathering dusts for the past eight years since they have been denied contracts.
“Interestingly, those who win the contracts through the backdoors have had to rely on them for their equipment before they could do the work,” the chairman disclosed.
To them, it is important that the new administration rely on them for road projects in the region “because we have the experience and the requisite equipment to carry out any project in the country since we have done this job for several years and we understand the terrain very well so we pray that your administration relies on us to help.”
They were confident that Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah and his deputy will ensure that the proper laid down procedures would be followed in awarding contracts to help save money for the country. The association further called for efficient coordination between them and the Regional Coordinating Council, promising to provide the needed advice to the minister to make his administration effective and efficient.
Responding to the concerns of the association, Mr. Osei-Mensah explained that what have delayed the signing of certificates by him was due to the fact that “ I have to be extra careful and also to ensure due diligence in what I do especially with matters of contracts signings. I came to meet a heap-pile of certificates and I needed not to rush in doing things so to ensure what I sign are the true reflection on what is on the ground.”
“I’ve made it a point to visit all sites to be convinced before I append my signature on any certificates…this is also to allow me the opportunity to know each road in the region,” the minister said.
Hon Osei Mensah stressed “what I want to do this time is that we prioritize the roads we want to do which will serve the total benefit of the region and not building roads for the sake of it.”
He expressed disappointment about the total neglect of roads in the region, adding that his tenure will see massive improvement in the road sector in the region.
Regional Minister Simon Osei-Mensah also expressed grave concern about the level of deterioration of most Highway roads in the region noting that the unfortunate situation has caused a crash of the local economic activities of the region.
“There have been massive deterioration of roads; only 49 percent of highway roads are in good shape as of now. At the time we were leaving office, the region had about 90 percent of its highway roads in better condition but it has deteriorated to 49 percent and this to us is really bad and incomprehensible”, Mr. Osei-Mensah lamented.
Meanwhile, Simon Osei-Mensah has called for strong partnership with the association especially in the area of advice, to make his regime beneficial to all.
Pix: Ashanti regional minister, Osei-Mensah, his deputy, Mrs. Agyemang in a pose with the regional executives of road contractors
From Richard Owusu-Akyaw, Kumasi.