The immediate past President of the Association of Road Contractors -Ghana, Joseph Ebo Hewton, has attributed the cause of inflated cost of road projects in Ghana on what he described as selective tendering.
According to him, contractors take advantage of that to bloat contract sums when such processes are used for awarding contracts because it does not create competition.
Mr. Hewton made the remark in a Citi News interview in response to some comments by Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Marfo against road contractors in the country.The Senior Minister on Monday accused some road contractors of inflating prices of road projects, saying such practices have adverse effects on the country, and does not conform to international standards.
But speaking to Citi News, Joseph Hewton also argued that, the basic material used in road projects is also to blame for the high cost in Ghana.
“What Osafo Maafo is saying could be true in situations of selected tender, where a few contractors are selected to bid for a particular project [hence] there could be inflation of figures. When there is open tender, I can tell you, most contractors go 20 percent below the engineer’s estimate.”
“But you see, when it comes to the issue of road contracts in Ghana being too expensive, I can tell you it is because the raw material that we use in Ghana are far more expensive than what you will even find at the international level – take chippings, bitumen, iron rods, and cement,” he added.
90% of road projects awarded through restricted tendering
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government had earlier accused the former administration of awarding about 90% of road contracts through restricted tendering.
A Deputy Minister for Roads, and Chairman of a committee set up to rationalize the number of roads under construction, Kwabena Owusu Aduomi, who made claim, said over 540 road projects were opened to just a selected number of contractors for bidding.
“What we realized was that, more than 90% of road projects were restricted tendering. Restricted tendering is more of sole sourcing or few contractors being selected to bid for a project,” he said in a Citi News interview.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana