The road under construction DAILY GUIDE can authoritatively confirm that the South Korean Construction Firm, Shinsung Engineering, working on the two high profile roads is neither bankrupt nor has left the project site as reported by Ghana Palava.
A visit to the projects site by a team of Journalists revealed that Shinsung Engineering Limited was on site busily working and in some cases, at night to meet the contract deadline.
The projects are the reconstruction of the 70km Kpando-Worawora-Dambai road, rehabilitation of 60km Techiman-Kintampo truck road and the 6.3 Oforikrom-Asokwa bypass and lake road.
The Ghana Palava, in their Friday March 6 to Monday March 9, 2009 edition had published a story under a headline “Aliu's Company Goes Bankrupt” in which it stated that lack of due diligence and proper scrutiny of a South Korean Company had led the erstwhile New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, under President Kufuo,r to award two high profile road contracts to a bankrupt company.
The paper alleged that both projects had come to a stand still and that sub-contractors employed by the contractor, Shinsung Engineering had packed their tools, equipment, bag and baggage and left the project sites.
However, when newsmen got to the project site at Worawora between 7-8pm, contractors were busy working with heavy equipment, dump trucks, dozers, wheel loaders, motor grader, water and cargo trucks, tractors ,vibration and tandem roller and excavators.
The resident engineer of the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), Seth Komeng-Ofori said although the contractor was behind schedule, it was at site, working deep in the night to meet the deadline, emphasizing that there were about 243 workers on the projects.
The GH¢36,058,579 Techiman-Kintampo Truck road being financed by the African Development Bank and the Government of Ghana was awarded on contract on October 2008 and expected to be completed on March 2011, while the GH¢48,332,507 Worawora –Dambai road which would benefit major towns such as Asukawkaw, Katanga, Addo Nkwanta, Tokuroano, Dormabin and Dambia awarded on November 2007, would be completed in May 2011.
The Oforikrom-Asokwa bypass financed by Agence Francaise De Development and GOG started in June last year and would be completed in 24 month.
The resident engineer mentioned challenges such as mobilization, shipping of equipment from Korea which took about six months to arrive as the major problems facing them, assuring that with their cash flows been improved; the project would be completed as scheduled.
The situation was not different at the Kumasi City roads and Techiman to Kintampo road projects as the contractors were all at site.
The Project Manager, Joo Sub Chor said though the project was about 5.6 per cent complete ,it had delayed for three months as a result of difficulty in shipping equipment to start the Asokwa exchange. Besides, designing and esqueing of the Aboabo Bridge was also observed as another problem facing the project.
The resident engineer of the Techiman road, William Owusu-Banahene, said the project which would consist of widening of existing roads with double bituminous surface, provision of climbing lanes for slow moving trucks and traffic signs; reflective thermoplastic road surfacing marking had achieved 3.13 per cent progress with about 0.39 per cent behind schedule.
He explained that the pace of physical work was slow as a result of lack of equipment, stressing that if more equipment came in, they (contractors) would be working at different front to meet the dead line.
Commenting on the bankruptcy of Shinsung Engineering, Administrative Manager of the South Korean Construction Firm, Divine Akotia, rubbished media reports, saying there was no iota of truth that the company was bankrupt; rather, the company was viable, active and executing all its projects awarded in the country.
Mr. Akotia described it as unfortunate that the South Korean Company has been linked with former Vice President who knew nothing about the company, emphasizing that 'the company is never affiliated to former Vice President'.
“It is not true that the Company is linked with Vice President Aliu Mahama and that the Ministry of Roads and Highways did not have the chance to do thorough due diligence on the company before awarding the contracts to them”.
He therefore charged the journalist who wrote the Palava story to go back to the project site and do proper checks to correct the erroneous impression.
From Sheilla Sackey, Worawora