ROAD CONTRACTORS MUST BE VETTED





Deputy Minister-designate for the Ministry of Roads & Highways Isaac Adjei Mensah has proposed the vetting of all road contractors and consultants to ensure that the country gets value for money in all road contracts awarded.

According to the nominee, it was time the country threw away incompetence, as well as dishonest consultants who certify shoddy works of road contractors.

‘If we want to engage people who we spend money on to construct roads, then, we need to get qualified ones. The consultants are also part of the game, and will form part of the recommendations to my boss to ensure that we have honest and dedicated consultants,’ he noted.

Notwithstanding the above-mentioned proposal, the nominee stressed the need to upgrade the competence level of local players in the road construction industry to international standards to take high capacity contracts that are mostly awarded to their foreign counterparts.

Mr. Mensah made these observations on Wednesday, when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament to be vetted for the position of Deputy Minister of Roads & Highways. He is part of the 35 deputy minister-designates nominated by President John Dramani Mahama to help him administer the affairs of the country.

Touching on what he would do to ensure that arrears owed road contractors were fully paid, the 50 year old policy expert told the Committee, chaired by Ebo Barton-Odro, that he would liaise with the sector minister to critically look into the matter, and find a solution to the problem.

The nominee, who is the Member of Parliament for Wassa East, also shared his thoughts on the axel load regime on the various road networks across the country.

He told the Committee that the axel load concept was a very laudable one, which should be pursued vigorously, since the 13 weighing centers across the country had helped in mobilising revenue for road maintenance works.

‘We have realised that this is a good way forward, and I will strongly recommend to the minister to have this axel weighing centers project on most of our road networks in the country to safeguard the roads…,’ he stressed.

Commenting on what measure to take in securing funding for road projects in the country, Mr. Mensah said it was time to think outside the box, and so he would collaborate with the sector in bringing the private sector to partner the government in that regard.

‘Private participation,’ he noted, ‘is the way forward.’

Answering a question on what could be done to stem the phenomenon of uncompleted roads in the Western Region due to the region’s rainfall pattern, the nominee said he would recommend to the minister to take cognizance on the timelines to award road contracts in the said region.


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