Kwesi Amoako Atta
The Ministry of Roads and Highways has refuted claims that the Tema Motorway Extension Project Contract awarded to Mota-Engil Engenharia E Construcao Africa S.A. has not received Parliamentary approval and should therefore be abrogated.
Member of Parliament for Adaklu Constituency, Kwame Agbodza, alleged that Mota-Engil was not qualified to undertake the project on Design and Build basis and said locals are capable of executing the project, hence the contract must be immediately cancelled and repackaged for local contractors.
In responding to the allegation, the ministry said it has not in any way breached the requirement for Parliamentary approval for the Accra-Tema Motorway Extension Project and therefore the assertion by the NDC MP should be disregarded.
“The Ministry for Roads and Highways signed a Commercial Contract with Mota-Engil in December 2020. This Commercial Contract as a standalone cannot be sent to Parliament without the complement of a Financial Agreement. As of now, the Financing arrangements are yet to be concluded. It is therefore, premature for anybody to claim or suggest that we have breached the law, when the documents to be submitted to Parliament have not been finalised,” a statement signed by Head, Public Relations, Nasir Ahmad Yartey said, adding “the signing of a Commercial Contract for internationally funded projects with conditions precedent before its submission to Parliament is not unusual.”
The statement further indicated that on the La Beach Road Completion Project, the Commercial Contract was signed in September 2012 with similar Conditions Precedent, adding that the Cabinet and Parliamentary Approvals were secured in November and December 2018 respectively and the contract became effective in 2019.
“The Ministry of Roads and Highways is an active promoter of local content. Indeed, for the Accra-Tema Motorway Extension Project, 40% of all works have been reserved for local contractors. However, we state for the avoidance of doubt that when the competitive bidding process was launched in December 2018, 23 companies expressed interest. None was Ghanaian. It is therefore not accurate to give the impression that Ghanaian companies were excluded.
“It is simplistic and ignorant for anybody to do a simple calculation of cost over kilometres and conclude that the cost of the Accra-Tema Motorway Extension Project is over bloated without recourse to the actual scope and works involved in the Project,” the statement said.
He indicated that the government through the Ministry of Roads and Highways is collaborating with the Ministry of Finance and all other relevant stakeholders to ensure that no mandate is side-stepped and to obtain value for money in the interest of the nation.
“Parliamentary approval for international business transactions that have a funding component are only requested after the full compliments of the commercial and financial agreement have been signed. Both agreements are yet to be secured by the Ministry. The Ministry is therefore yet to reach a point where parliamentary approval is required,” he stressed.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri