11.06.2009 Regional News

NRGP asked not to award contracts to lazy contractors

11.06.2009 LISTEN
By gna

Tamale, June 10, GNA – Mr. Stephen Sumani Nayina, the Northern Regional Minister, has appealed to Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP) not to award contracts to contractors who would do shoddy work and abandon projects midstream.

He said they should deal swiftly with non-performing contractors and consultants according to contract agreements, blacklist such contractors and share their information with other government institutions to ensure that such contractors are out of the system.

Mr. Nayina said this on Tuesday at the Northern Regional launch of the NRGP.

The programme is aimed at addressing poverty in the three northern regions and districts in Brong-Ahafo Region that border the Northern Region.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Africa Development Bank are co-financing the 62 million-dollar programme with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture being the implementing agency.

The programme, which Vice President John Mahama inaugurated in Tamale in April, is expected to provide production and marketing infrastructure, improve access to rural financial services and would fully integrate key private sector operators in the value chain.

The infrastructure development of the programme includes the provision of irrigation schemes, road construction, bridges and market related facilities.

Mr. Nayina said the constant damage of bridges, roads and dams during excessive rainfall in the region was as a result of poor construction work and stressed the importance of NRGP managers to recruit only the highest qualified contractors to work on projects under the programme.

Mr. Nayina said the country lost funds due to non-performance of contractors and consultants with no action taken against them. “This can no longer be tolerated.”

He said it was becoming increasingly clear that rain-fed agriculture in the Savanna area had become problematic due to unreliable and erratic rainfall pattern as well as land degradation and stressed the importance of NRGP in helping address poverty.

Mr. Roy Ayariga, National Coordinator of the programme, said there was the need to improve agriculture in the three regions by improving irrigation, dams and dugouts.

He said the programme was also aimed at increasing the northern Ghana rural area households' income on a sustainable basis.

He mentioned rural infrastructure development as small scale irrigation development, which would include dams, river pumping schemes and underground abstraction to irrigate at least 4.500 hectares.

Other interventions include marketing infrastructure development where rural roads of about 800 km of farm tracks and 600 km of feeder roads, 270 culverts would be constructed while about 348 truck roads and 10 bridges would be upgraded.

Mr. Sylvester Adongo, Northern Regional Director of the Food and Agriculture, said the conflicts and diseases that continue to engulf the north was as a result of poverty, food insecurity and ignorance and that those problems would become things of the past when NRGP was implemented successfully.