General News of Friday, 28 July 2017
Kwasi Amoako-Atta, the Minister of Roads and Highways, has expressed anger at some engineers and contractors, who shoddily construct roads and later demand monies from government, adding that his outfit would no longer tolerate such behaviour.
The sector minister announced this when he inspected a portion of the road, which caved in between Nyamebekyere and Tinkong before a Police Barrier on the Mamfe-Koforidua Road in the Eastern Region after torrential rains which lasted for about an hour.
The floods destroyed most of the low-lying roads, bridges and produce in the area.
According to him, “There must be value for money as you can see there are some places where they do lazy work. They use graders to clear parts of the roads and pour the bitumen, and then spread the chippings. And you think you are engineers. Is that how we construct roads and people are being paid for this. This kind of behaviour will not be tolerated under President Akufo-Addo government.”
The Minister stated that “Road contraction is not a joke, go to other countries and see the kind of roads people are driving on. You come to our country and we joke with even road construction. This would not be tolerated anymore.”
Mr Amoako-Atta, who was angry with the poor construction of the road from Mamfe to Koforidua by the contractor, hinted that “I will not tolerate any shoddy work from any contractor, and I am not happy with this kind of road, if the contractor is not working, let’s know and take steps to lay off that contractor.”
The Minister, who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Atiwa West, instructed the Regional Maintenance Manager, Emmanuel Odei, to submit a report on the contractor since his work does not meet the specification.
“And if he is not doing a good job, we will blacklist him, because there is no way I will allow Ghanaian pesewa to be wasted, and our government wouldn’t give GHC1 to any contractor who is not working well. No matter who you are, whether you are in Eastern, Western, Greater Accra, Ashanti Region, you won’t take Ghanaian money just like that. I am not happy with the work on this stretch,” he stressed.
He explained further that “I am giving you up to Monday to give me a written report on this road. I want to know the name of the contractor. I am holding you responsible, so shall you hold your regional director responsible to give me a report and make recommendations. If it means the termination of the contract, we will do that in accordance with the law, and rewarded it to a competent person and if it’s on basis of poor performance that contractor will be blacklisted. That’s the way we are going to work in this country these days.”
The Minister said that any engineer, who supervises unprofessional job, would face the music, advising all engineers in the regions to improve their performance to meet the standards.
The Minister said: “I am telling all of you to have the courage to walk off any contractor. There are a lot of good contractors who have registered and have good machines with the expertise and competence in this country, who don’t get the jobs to do, and others who don’t know anything about civil works and construction get jobs. So who gives them the contracts?” he quizzed.
Nobody working at the Ministry should dare give a job to any person who calls himself or herself a contractor, especially if such person has no competence, expertise and knowledge to undertake such jobs.
The Minister, however, instructed the Regional Highway team to block the road on Friday from 6 am to 12 pm to ensure the construction of bridge as matter of urgency.
He further appealed to motorists from Koforidua to use the Adukrom-Nkurakan Road, and from Nsawam through Suhum Highway to enable the contractors repair the collapsed bridge.
Drivers who use that stretch of road in the night time find it difficult driving due to the absence of streetlights, reflective indicators and road signs.
Several other roads in the Eastern Region have similar defects, which require the immediate attention of government and other relevant institutions in the country.