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28.02.2006 General News

Minister Damns High Estimates Of Consultants

By Graphic

The Minister of Road Transport, Dr Richard Anane, has expressed disappointment at the way the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA) accepts outrageous estimates from consultants in the country.

He said whereas the cost of one kilometre of a two-lane carriage viaduct would cost $1.0m in a European city and the same amount would give a three-lane carriageway in a North African city, the GHA accepted what he described as ridiculous estimates.

The minister, who was opening a two-day annual management and executive development programme of the GHA in Accra yesterday, described the act as “frustrating”.

He said modernisation and investment depended on infrastructural development to accommodate modern or rising needs but added that the “GHA has appeared uncritical over the years to the consultant community”.

Dr Anane re-emphasised the need for the GHA to pursue efforts to generate extra income internally to supplement the subventions received from the Consolidated Fund, adding that that would motivate the staff in the discharge of their duties towards the achievement of the goals of the authority.

He advocated the setting up of a pool of skilled people to enable the authority to serve as a consultant to assist in securing cost-effective project contracts for the nation.

“The creation of this pool of experts will serve as a source of income for the GHA, as well as go a long way to boost the image of the authority in the engineering profession,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of the GHA, Mr Eric Oduro-Konadu, said a major constraint facing the authority was the inadequate budgetary allocation, low remuneration and unattractive service conditions.

He, therefore, stressed the need to embark on a recruitment drive which would motivate and retain professionals to ensure the continued growth of the company.

Mr Oduro-Konadu said the human resource potential of the organisation must be developed to meet present and future needs.

He mentioned the installation of traffic calming measures, traffic signals, crash barriers and road line markings as some of the safety measures which had been put in place to improve safety on the trunk roads. On the achievement of the company in 2005, he said 10 road projects, totalling 372.8 kilometres, and two bridge projects were completed.