The Ranking Member of Parliament’s Roads and Highways Committee, and MP for Adaklu Constituency, Kwame Agbodza, has slammed the government for the consistent allegations that some contractors were ripping off the state by inflating contract costs.
He said the government’s incessant complaints over the matter were reckless and a face-saving tactic for poor performance.His comment was in reaction to the Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo’s recent claim that some road contractors intentionally inflate the cost of road projects in a way that negatively affects the country’s funding sources.
Mr. Agbodza in an interview on Eyewitness News on Monday, dared the Senior Minister to make public the list of contractors found to have inflated project cost.
“I believe that all this hullabaloo about inflated contract is simply because this government has failed to perform and is only looking for a loophole and anytime they are into the wall, they come out with this…Their actions are really reckless and will not lead us anywhere. I dare the minister and the government to come out and tell us which particular project has been inflated, the cost of inflation and which engineer is supervising,” he said.
“What is preventing this government from telling us which particular road contract has been inflated, who is the contractor and consultant. Why can’t they do this simple thing and spare this country the agony of every day waking up and telling us contracts have been inflated…If there is any evidence, lets deal with that, don’t bastardize all engineers and quantity surveyors…”
He said he was intrigued that the Senior Minister attributed such corrupt practice to contractors when in fact, contract documents and costs are produced by engineers at the Roads Ministry.
“Where I disagree with him is the penchant of this current government to make vague statements when the opportunity is there to look into these things… If you think contract A, there is evidence of inflation or overpricing of contract, you can take that contract… In any case, I’m not sure how a contractor can inflate a contract price, the contract document is never built by the road contractor,” he said.
Yaw Osafo Maafo, while speaking at an event to officially commence the upgrade of the Accra-Tema Motorway on Monday, said “If you go to the score card of the Ghana Institution of Engineers, they describe the sources of our poor performance in the road sector. They talk about lack of adequate funds, technical know-how, but they also talk about corruption. It’s something we should also pay attention to. We must have value for money in the road sector.”
Mr. Maafo at a different event in July said, politicians should not be held responsible for the sub-standard infrastructural projects littered across the country, noting that blame should be laid on the country’s engineers, whom he accused of not effectively supervising those projects.
His trail of comments on the subject has generated some discussions among Ghanaians with calls on the government to prosecute anyone found to have shortchanged or attempted to short-change the state.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana