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21.02.2006 General News

No Ghanaian road contractor has international status

By GNA

Accra, Feb. 21, GNA - Mr John Osei-Asamoah, Chief Director of the Road Transport Ministry, on Tuesday described as worrisome and unfortunate the lack of a single Ghanaian contractor with an international status as of now.

"For about 14 years since the Government adopted the road action plans to create the environment for local companies to build and develop their capacities, no single Ghanaian contractor has attained the international status level yet," he said.

The Chief Director said this at a two-day capacity building workshop through partnership with Ghanaian and German contractors in Accra under the auspices of the Association of Road Contractors of Ghana and the Capacity Building International of Germany.

Mr Osei-Asamoah said despite the achievement of a significant output in recent times, local road contractors ought to consider it a major challenge that their inadequate capacity had accounted for the ineffective and inefficient delivery of road infrastructure and services to the Ghanaian public.

In speech read for Dr Robert Anane, Road Transport Minister, he announced that that Government had procured road construction equipment to the tune of 27 million dollars to augment the equipment fleet of contractors in the country.

He said the procurement formed part of the action plan to provide equipment support in a revolving manner for contractors. Dr Anane said the formula for calculating the monthly cost indices used in the industry, was being reviewed and added that the Classification Committee had been reconstituted to ensure a more streamlined process for assessing contractors. On the requirement for awarding road contracts, he said Procurement Board had made slight amendments in the document for works and that would be the standard document for road works. The Minister said directives had been made to the executing agencies of contracts to ensure strict compliance with the terms and conditions of contracts.

Other measures to be adopted soon, Dr Anane mentioned included, streamlining the procedure for providing plant and equipment and advance to assist contractors in the procurement of their equipment of choice. According to him this facility, which is being implemented by the Department of Feeder Roads, would assist in providing a down payment for plant and equipment from designated dealers with the contractor retaining the responsibility of completing the payment from the other sources.

Dr Anane said the Government was also going to support the quarry industry in terms of direct payment of the quarry operators as subcontractors of main Contactors or as suppliers to the executing agencies.

"This arrangement will allow the Quarry Operators to have contracts with the main Contractors and the Agencies for the supply of quarry products and a definite payment backed by a contract," he said. Mr J. Twumasi Mensah, Chairman of the ASROC, said the partnership capacity programme would span from 2005 to 2007 and noted that a key aim was to foster and promote joint-ventures between foreign and local contractors.

He praised the Government for granting them great respect saying: "Government has invested tremendous amount into the road sector and if we (local contractors) fail to improve on our performance, then we are being ungrateful." 21 Feb. 06

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