Minister barks at contractors over Ashaiman roads
6/6/2011 4:26:18 PM -
Nii Armah Ashietey, the Greater Accra Regional Minister last Friday expressed his displeasure at the slow pace of work on projects being executed in the Ashaiman and the Tema Metropolis, and ordered a speedy completion of all projects before the end of the year.
The Minister expressed concern over the decision to award most of the roads on contract for simultaneous execution, without thinking about the effect it would have on commuters.
'In fact, I am not happy about what I have come to see. Why should roads be blocked at the inconvenience of the people who need them to facilitate their movements to and from their work places to earn a living? This is bad,' he said.
The Minister indicated that lack of proper planning and proper vision from both the Metropolitan Urban Roads and the contractors should be blamed for the pains residents, commuters and other road users are going through, as result of the construction works.
He queried the Ashaiman Municipal Chief Executive for not reporting the lackadaisical attitude of the contractors to the Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) for the necessary sanctions to be meted out to them, and charged him to whip them in line to ensure speedy completion of the projects.
'No, these contractors cannot take the citizens for granted. As a government representative, you have to prioritize your constituents' interest above all other persons because they must be the first recipients of the President's 'Better Ghana' agenda fruits', he said.
Patrick Obeng, the site Engineer of Ranacand Construction Limited, undertaking the rehabilitation of the bridge at Roman Down, a suburb of Ashaiman, told the Minister that work on the facility should be completed in a month's time.
Explaining that work on the project started on January 15, 2011, he admitted that the work was far behind schedule but promised not to fail the government and the municipality for that matter. He mentioned concrete casting and wing walls construction as some of the work he needed to carry out on the project.
The Minister went haywire when he arrived at another bridge construction site at Kpone where the contract had virtually been abandoned by the contractor, Ranacand Construction Limited, the same contractor undertaking works on the Ashaiman Roman Down and Tema SOS bridges.
Nii Armah Ashietey would not accept any excuse from the site Engineer, Mr. Kweku Baah that his workers had gone on break at the time he and his team arrived. 'We have to call these contractors to order and let them know that Ghana government's property cannot be toyed with,' he said.
The site Engineer, however, assured the Minister that the work would be completed in three months' time, a promise that did not amuse the Minister.
Inspecting the road network that links Kpone to the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), he charged the contractor, Core Construction Limited, to have committed work schedule on all projects under his jurisdiction.
He hinted that the delay in the execution of work had adversely affected national budget as cost of materials had never been stable.
Explaining the scope of work on the projects in both Ashaiman and Tema, the Tema Urban Roads Engineer, Mr. Stephen Attipoe, told the Minister and his entourage that change in construction scopes had affected the speedy execution of work.
He, however, assured the Minister that all projects in the two areas should be fully completed by June next year.
The Minister promised to hold a meeting with Urban Roads and the Ashaiman Assembly in two weeks' time, to give them much insight into projects in the Municipality, 'so that once that has been done, the members would in turn sensitize their electorate. There is this wide gap because there is no flow of communication'.
He finally entreated the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, Robert Kempes Ofosuware to constantly coordinate with his counterpart at the Ashaiman Municipality, explaining that the two of them cannot fail the people. The Minister and his entourage also inspected work on the Ashaiman VALCO Flat-Zenu Bridge.
Accompanying the regional Minister on his tour were Robert Kempes Ofosuware, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, Numo Addinortey Addison Numo, Ashaiman Municipal Chief Executive, Stephen Attipoe, Tema Urban Roads Engineer (MRE) and staff from the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council, TMA and ASHMA.