Gov’t Builds Capacities For 20 Local Contractors Since 2017
– Road Minister
The Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, has proudly disclosed that the government of President Akufo-Addo has deliberately built the capacities of not less than 20 local contractors since 2017.
According to the minister, popularly known as “Terminator,” these contractors are now handling a good number of major road contracts across the country.
He mentioned, in particular, the contractor executing the 19.5km Accra-Tema Motorway project, Maripoma Enterprise Limited, as a typical example, indicating that he has the capacity and equipment to do the job.
He said the works of these local contractors are topnotch, and urged Ghanaians to rally behind such firms and “we must be proud of our own.”
Speaking on Accra-based Asempa FM’s ‘Ekosisen’ programme on Monday January 22, 2024, the Atiwa West Member of Parliament (MP) said the works of these contractors can match their international counterparts.
He said, under his watch, they will continue to build the capacities of these contractors, to enable them to take a chunk of road contracts in the country.
The minister, who touched on a number of major road projects dotted across the country, said he will in due course come out with the names of all the contractors.
Zeroing on the Tema Motorway project, Mr. Amoako-Attah said the contractor is already on site clearing the road alignment and building his site camp, among others, and assured that, in about two weeks’ time, road users on that important road will see the work that will begin there.
As part of its work, Maripoma Enterprise Limited has been tasked to ensure that both sides of the motorway have no potholes, from the next two weeks, even before he starts the major work.
He said all the patches on the lanes are expected to be done before proper works begin on the new lanes.
Asked if there will be enough land to contract the additional lanes, Mr. Amoako-Attah responded in the affirmative, saying there is enough land left for that purpose.
According to the minister, even though some portions of the land have been taken over by the youth, who are cultivating vegetables, the contractor has been advised to treat such people with human face.
He said the contractor has been told to give these farmers a grace period to harvest their produce before getting rid of them.
Touching on stalled roads, the minister regretted that the Tema to Prampram, Teshie Nungua, Tema Motorway to Central University andTema Roundabout to Akosombo road, among others, have had to be suspended due to the government deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He was however confident that, as government continues to successfully meet the conditions of the IMF, there will be some respite in the economy so that these stalled roads can be completed for commissioning.
The minister said, but for government engagement with the Fund, the aforementioned projects, as well as the Sekondi PTC interchange, the Obetsebi Lamptey interchange phase three, would have all been completed.
He said these projects have one characteristic, which is that they have all reached advanced stages, noting that some are at 90 to 95 of completion.
He said as 2024 has been declared as ‘year of commissioning or completion,’ the President has directed that any available funds should be used to complete these projects for commissioning.
On roads in the Ashanti Region where the governing party gets majority of its votes from, the minister said work on the controversial Suame interchange is progressing in “earnest.”
He debunked host Osei Bonsu’s claim that no work is going on in Suame, saying he was there two weeks ago and he saw progress of work for himself.
He admitted the work that is being done is not on the main project, but said the contactor is working on pipes and other lines around that enclave and assured that in about a month’s time, the work underway will be visible.
The Roads and Highways minister insisted that government is still committed to its declaration to build five interchanges in the region alone, except that they cannot assure the people that the number can be done at a go this year.
He said while the contractor works on the Suame interchange, they are planning to start the one penciled down for Oforikrom.
While admitting that they cannot complete all the five this year, he was confident that Ghanaians will give the New Patriotic Party (NPP) another term to construct the Ahodwo, Santasi and Bekwai interchanges.
Despite the odds not favouring government when it comes to funds, Mr. Amoako-Attah said government is also considering and working to start work on some four important roads he says have become a major problem for Ghanaians.
He said even though they are concentrating on the ongoing ones, government has its eyes on the 30 kilometer Kasoa to Winneba Junction road, which has already been given to a contractor, the 23 kilometer Madina to Dodowa, Takoradi to Agona Junction and Ahafo to Tepa.