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Ministry to ensure effective management of road contracts

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The Ministry of Road and Highways is reviewing contractor classification system and contractor capacity and training to ensure effective management of road contracts in the country

Mr Joe Gidisu, sector Minister, who announced this, said the measure was also to ensure that only contractors with the requisite competence and adequate resources were awarded contracts, if ‘We are to obtain value for money”.

These were contained in a speech read on his behalf at an annual management seminar, organised by the Department of Feeder Roads, under the theme: “Optimisation of resources for effective contract supervision”, in Koforidua on Wednesday.

Mr. Gidisu called on management of the Department to intensify its supervision and monitoring role to ensure that road contracts were executed in compliance with required specifications.

He said: “As you step up your internal supervision and monitoring, you are also encouraged to organize more training programmes for your staff, contractors and consultants to improve upon their capacity and ensure quality of work”.

Mr. Gidisu observed that one of the major problems facing the road sector was “over commitment.”

He said that the situation placed a huge burden on the budgets of agencies in charge of road infrastructure, increased the workload of staff of those agencies and at the same time brought most road contractors to the brink of collapse.

“The over commitment situation coupled with increasing demand for roads by communities means that the road agencies like Department of Feeder Roads will have to employ prudent and optimum use of the scarce resources available, to achieve maximum benefits to satisfy the needs and aspirations of the communities they serve.”

Mr. Gidisu called on the Department to improve upon project preparation and designing to reduce the incidence of issuing variation orders at contract implementation stage.

This he explained would ensure effective contract management to avoid disputes and arbitrations that at times ended at court.

Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, Eastern Regional Minister, said post harvest loses of farm produce was partly due to the deplorable nature of feeder roads.

He said the government would tar feeder roads linking important economic areas to minimize the annual ritual of awarding contracts for their reshaping.

Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo said government was committed to making feeder roads, including those in cocoa producing areas and in the rural areas all-whether roads.

Mr. E.N.K Ashong, a Director at Department of Feeder Roads, observed that the burden of debt resulting from completed works without the matching funds had slowed down execution of road works and affected the condition of road network.

He said: “We had the painful duty of suspending some contracts while terminating others so as to manage the burdensome situation”.

Source: GNA

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