General News of Saturday, 29 July 2017
Politicians should not be held responsible for the sub-standard infrastructural projects littered across the country, according to the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo.
He believes the blame should be laid squarely on the door steps of the country’s engineers, whom he accused of not effectively supervising those projects.
The Senior Minister was speaking at a capacity building conference organized by the Ghana Institute of Engineers, Planners and Surveyors on Friday.
Problems with infrastructure were highlighted at the same venue weeks ago, when Mr. Osaafo Maafo launched the Ghana Infrastructure Report Card on roads, bridges, among others, in which Ghana scored poorly.
Problems within the sector were acknowledged and the Minister recalled that the presenter at the launch blamed Ghanaian politicians for the poor showing in the report.
“…they were trying to apportion the blame and they put the blame on the politicians and I said; well, everyone here can analyze… who designs the roads, they said engineers. Who would normally specify the various adverts for the tender after the contract has been awarded and who supervises the work? Engineers,” Mr. Osafo Maafo said in a retort.
“No politician goes and supervises work. Who measures work done for payment? Engineers and allied professionals. Who approves the payment? The politicians. So going through these, where would you put the blame. You have gone to measure and analyze and say the man is due 30. My job is to approve the 30 and you think I should be blamed for approving what you have recommended? The answer is a big no!”
“So we professionals are involved seriously in the infrastructural deficit we have in this country,” Mr. Osafo Maafo concluded.
The Senior Minister’s comments followed frank words from the Minister of Works and Housing, Samuel Atta-Akyea, who noted that Ghanaian engineers were losing out to their foreign counterparts on government projects because they cut corners, inflated figures on projects and were generally preoccupied with making money, as opposed to ensuring lasting projects.
Mr. Atta-Akyea added that foreign contractors were preferred “because they have distinguished themselves.”