The past administration over committed 1,066 projects for the road sector without adequate funding, Mr Joe Gidisu, Minister of Roads and Highways, has said.

Addressing a closing ceremony of a two-day retreat for staff of the ministry held in Koforidua, Mr Gidisu said the cost of those over-committed projects, spanning 2009-2011, is in the region of GHC 1,155,641 million.

He advised staff of the ministry to guard against conflict of interest in the discharge of their duties which he said was not merely in the domain of ethical conduct but also border on criminality.

Mr Gidisu said he was not happy about reports that some officers in the regions and some in the head offices of the agencies had formed companies and benefit from contracts.

“The implications of these actions are serious and go contrary to the conduct of public servants”.

Mr Gidisu warned those officers involved in the practice to stop immediately, adding that the names of some of them and the companies they own are known to the national security apparatus.

“It is first criminal and secondly unethical to award contracts to yourself whiles working as a staff in the same institution”.

He advised them not to allow their political leanings and trappings to influence whatever pieces of advice they have to offer and to be mindful of their utterances and postures, especially in public.

Mr Gidisu assured them that the ministry would explore all available opportunities including public-private partnership and increase in the road and bridge tolls to enable them adequately fund the provision and maintenance of roads.

Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, Eastern Regional Minister, suggested that more attention be given to the feeder roads sector to ensure rural communities transport their farm produce to the urban centres early enough to avoid post harvest losses.

He appealed to the ministry to rehabilitate the road between Apedwa and Nsawam section of the Accra/Kumasi trunk road that is in a bad state.

Source: GNA