The Chief Executive Officer of Malin Investment, the firm engaged to construct the Teshie-Lascala link road, Francis Kpelu, has disclosed that work on the 7.5-kilometer stretch which connects Spintex Road to the Tema-Accra Beach Road has stalled because government has not paid monies owed the company.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, Mr. Kpelu said his firm had completed work on over 30% of the project but stopped in 2016 because four of the five certificates he sent to government for payment, totalling GH¢25 million had not been honoured.
“Since we started this road, we raised certificate number one, two, three, four and five. It was only number one that was honoured by the government.
“As I’m talking to you, we have outstanding payments from number two, three, four and five, totalling GHc25 million. The question is, if a local person wants to do something to support the whole country, should we be treated this way? Over one year now, we have not been working, because they’ve not paid us,” the contractor added.
Residents along the stretch, in a Citi News report, lamented the dusty nature of the road saying they risked contracting lung-related ailments.
Citi News’ Caleb Kudah who visited the area to listen to the plights of the residents reported that “nearly every surface of the LEKMA hospital is covered in dust and the air-conditioners at the hospital illustrate it better.”
“The fans have trapped a lot of dust and the situation has left residents here wondering that if fans of air-conditioners are trapping so much dust at the hospital how much more dust are they inhaling from this road especially when most of them have their little tables very close to the roadside? A doctor here told me that the nature of the road makes it difficult for emergency cases to be rushed in because drivers always have to slow down in order to bring in patients,” he added.
Francis Kpelu added on the Citi Breakfast Show that because work on the project had stalled for so long, most of the progress they made had eroded “so you will think that nothing has been done, which means that a lot of money will be required to re-fix the road.”
“I wrote to them – the Ministry of Roads – on June 16, 2017, drawing their attention to the clauses in the contract that this delay in payment is affecting the work significantly. And since then, no one has responded to my letter.”
He also noted that the entire project was supposed to have cost GHc62 million and complained that the banks which had given loans to his firm to begin the project have been chasing them for their money.
Mr. Kpelu added that his firm would move to continue with the project when the amount is released.
“We have to use our own money and then raise the certificate up to a certain percentage then they will pay us. But here is the case, we’ve done that and we have fulfilled our obligation under the contract but yet we’ve not been paid…If they start paying the money, I will go back on site and work will commence and everybody will see. It is something that will not be hidden at all,” he added.
Ledzokuku MP laments delayed road project
The Member of Parliament for Ledzorkuku constituency, Dr Bernard Okoe Boye who has been on a crusade to get the road fixed, lamented that all his efforts to get the responsible authorities to act have not yielded any positive results.
“I wrote quite a number of letters and spoke to the Ministry that if they had any reason to delay this route, for the sake of patients at the LEKMA hospital, they have to act fast. I’ve written to the Minister, I’ve spoken to senior colleagues in Parliament. I’ve spoken to superiors beyond the Minister, everywhere I go; I drop copies of the contract of the road telling them that it’s a 7.5-kilometer dual carriage road and that if they have a problem doing both, they should do just one.”
“You are supposed to spend just ten minutes from the Beach Road to Spintex but now it will take you about one hour longer or more to ply that road,” the MP added.
By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana