A former deputy minister of Roads and Highways, Isaac Adjei, is asking the Akufo-Addo-led government to expedite action on its audit into road contracts awarded under the John Mahama administration.
The audit, he observed, has caused a number of road constructions especially cocoa roads in the Western Region to stall, indicating the situation was affecting agriculture in the region considered the food basket of the nation.
“This government for the sake of forensic audit has stopped all cocoa roads but they haven’t provided any report from the audit they are carrying out…” Mr.Adjei who is the Member of Parliament for Wassa East said.
Speaking ‘Asem Yi Dzi Ka’ on Takoradi-based Connect FM on Friday, he said he expected the NPP government to complete road projects started by the Mahama administration but said the government’s probe of the road contracts to check possible corrupt acts was taking too long.
The delays, he said was not only causing the already started roads to deteriorate but also incurring cost to government and contractors.
He maintained NDC prioritized road construction especially the six cocoa regions in Ghana with the understanding that cocoa is a hard earned export commodity for the country.
He however did not run down the probing measure but maintained government is incurring cost for halting the inherited projects.
“…As air and rain washes the uncompleted roads, it makes the road more deplorable and that attracts more money too. There is something we call interest on loans if the contractor went for loans it means he will pay more and government pays the contractors when such interest accrues,” he said.He explained that road construction tends to be more expensive when started and halted halfway since wear and tear is inevitable.
Mr. Adjei indicated that the current deplorable road networks in the Western Region was due to the suspension of road constructions in the region
He indicated that many cocoa roads in the region, especially in the Wassa East district have been abandoned and are in bad condition now.
According to the MP, the current road condition was demotivating farmers from engaging in agriculture, adding the raining season will be a threat to the economical lives of the farmers since it will be difficult for them to cart their farm produce to sell.
The former deputy minister said the NDC government prioritized road construction especially in the six cocoa regions in Ghana with the understanding that cocoa is a hard-earned export commodity for the country.
Mr. Adjei Mensah argued that the current government does not prioritize infrastructure, adding the 2017 and 2018 budget allocations for roads and highways are evidence of its focus.
“If you consider 2017 and 2018 budget allocations for roads, they were small amount, can you imagine the 2016 budget allocation for roads was Gh₵900,000,000 as compared to about ₵532,000,000 only for roads construction, it is evidence that this government has lapses in infrastructure…it has its priorities though…” he stated
By Loveridge Ampratwum Okyere|Connect FM|3news.com|Ghana