The Ministry of Roads and Highways has dismissed claims by MP Kwame Agbodza that it has breached the constitutional requirement for Parliamentary Approval before commencing work on the Accra-Tema Motorway Extension Project.
In a press release dated August 15, the Ministry stated that the financial arrangements for the commercial contract it has signed with Mota-Engil for the project are yet to be finalised.
The statement signed by the Head of Public Relations, Nasir Ahmad Yartey, revealed that the commercial contract as a standalone, cannot be sent to Parliament for approval without the complement of a financial agreement,
“It is therefore premature for anybody to claim or suggest that we have breached the law when the documents to be submitted to Parliament have not been finalised. Parliamentary approval for international business transactions that have a funding component are only requested after the full complements of the commercial and financial agreement have been signed.”
“Both agreements are yet to be secured by the Ministry. The Ministry is therefore yet to reach a point where Parliamentary approval is required. The Ministry of Roads and Highways wishes to state without the slightest equivocation that the assertions and conclusions made by the Hon. Member are inaccurate and misleading,” parts of the statement read.
This comes after the minority in Parliament demanded the abrogation of the Accra-Tema motorway expansion contract between the government and Mota Engil.
Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee, Kwame Agbodza, said the Roads and Highways Minister, Kwesi Amoako-Atta, failed to seek Parliamentary approval before awarding the contract.
Addressing the media in Accra, he said the contract as it stands, is illegal and not binding even though it’s been approved by the Public Procurement Authority.
He further questioned the Roads and Highways Minister why the contract was not awarded to a Ghanaian contractor instead of Mota-Engil.
He added that Mota-Engil is not qualified to be awarded a contract, making the contract null and void.
However, the Ministry believes that the signing of a Commercial Contract for internationally funded projects with conditions precedent before submission to Parliament, is not unusual.
Citing examples, Mr Yartey wrote, “on the La Beach Road Completion Project, the Commercial Contract was signed in September, 2012 with similar Conditions Precedent. The Cabinet and Parliamentary Approvals were secured in November and December, 2018 respectively and the Contract became effective in 2019.”
“Again, on the Accra Intelligent Traffic Management Systems Project, the Commercial Contract was also signed in September, 2012 with similar Conditions Precedent. The Cabinet and Parliamentary Approvals were secured in November and December, 2018 respectively and the Contract became effective in 2019.”
Mr Yartey also addressed claims that the Ministry excluded local contractors when signing the contract. He explained that when the competitive bidding process was launched in December, 2018, 23 companies expressed interest.
However, none of them was Ghanaian. Nonetheless, he revealed that 40% of the extension project has been reserved for local contractors.
“It is therefore not accurate to give the impression that Ghanaian companies were excluded,” parts of the statement read.
Mr Yartey also added that claims that the cost of the project is over-bloated is untrue.
“It is simplistic and ignorant for anybody to do a simple calculation of cost over kilometres and conclude that the cost of the Accra-Tema Motorway Extension Project is over-bloated without recourse to the actual scope and works involved in the Project.”
“The scope of work of the project is as follows; 10 – lane 19.5km motorway (4 lanes of reinforced concrete freeway, 6 lanes of Urban Highway), Reconstruction of Tetteh Quarshie to Apenkwa (5.7 km), Remodeling of Tetteh Quarshie, Apenkwa and Achimota Interchanges, Construction of 5 new Interchanges (Lashibi, Abattoir, Teshie Link, Fiesta Royale and Neoplan junction), 14No. Pedestrian Footbridges, Toll Plazas and Streetlights.”
The Ministry urged Ghanaians to ignore are “frivolous, groundless and palpable falsehood” Mr Agbodza has levelled against it.
Mr Yartey stated that the government through the Ministry of Roads and Highways is working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and all other relevant stakeholders to ensure that no mandate is sidestepped and to obtain value for money in the interest of the nation.
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