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27.03.2006 Business & Finance

Work on Tema cocoa warehouses satisfactory - Board

By GNA

Accra, March 27, GNA - Work on the construction of five major warehouses for the storage of cocoa at Tema and the renovation of the Cocoa House in Accra have been described as satisfactory, despite failure to meet completion dates.

The board of directors, under the chairmanship of Daasebre Akuamoah Boateng, hailed the quality of jobs done so far. More than 90 percent of contractors and sub-constructors are Ghanaians firms.

The decision to build the warehouses, in addition to the construction of office complex, parking lots and other infrastructure facilities valued at more than 120 billion cedis was taken in 1976 but could not be implemented as scheduled mainly because of lack of funds. A day's visit to both construction sites on Monday by the board members showed that 96 percent and 85 percent of works at the warehouse and Cocoa House respectively had so far been completed. Final dates for completion of work at the warehouses and Cocoa House have been extended to April and June ending respectively. The 50,000 ton-capacity warehouses, which began in July 2003, was to have been completed in March this year, while work on Cocoa House was supposed to have been finished in February this year. Addressing the media on the renovation of Cocoa House estimated at 30 billion cedis, Mr Kwame Sarpong, outgoing Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board said became deplorable and an eyesore due to lack of maintenance.

He said it had never seen any major renovation since 1960 when it was built. "This does not befit the cocoa industry which contributes quite a lot to the development of Ghana's economy." The renovation works involved changing doors and windows, provision of new ceilings and air conditioners and replacing the terrazzo floor with tiles.

At Tema, Mr Sarpong expressed happiness that the job mainly went to local contractors whom, he said, had the capacity and know-how to always deliver quality jobs but quite often failed to deliver on time. "Let us give our own contractors the opportunity to show their capabilities; the quality of job we have seen so far is perfect," he said.

Nii Teiko Evans-Amfon of the Lemet Construction Company working on the Cocoa House, said all the other 14 sub-contractors were local companies. He said delay in the completion of the work was due to modifications to the initial plan.

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