Minister unhappy with abandoned projects by successive governments

Kwesi Ahwoi - Agric Minister

The neglect of uncompleted projects either by successive governments and change of ministerial portfolios, is a worrying phenomenon in Ghana, Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Food and Agriculture Minister has indicated.

He expressed the sentiment at the commissioning of a GH¢686,000 rehabilitated laboratory for the University of Cape Coast (UCC) School of Agriculture in Cape Coast on Wednesday. The project took seven years to be completed.

Mr Ahwoi was disappointed that in spite of the 1992 constitutional provision in Article 35 clause 7 that Governments shall continue to execute projects and programmes commenced by the previous administration, it was not being adhered to.

The Minister said many a time politicians ignored it in their “pursuit of their politically parochial, biased and disjointed developmental agenda” and abandoned very important projects because they were unrestrained by any enforcement mandate.

On the UCC School of Agriculture project, he said it brought to the fore “the sloppiness with which we execute most contracts in the country when we award contracts on grounds of patronage rather than competence”.

He called for the continuity of all projects to facilitate the development process of the country.

Explaining the circumstances towards the delay of the project, he said, it was first awarded in 2003 to Messrs Kenco Limited and had to be terminated in 2005 and re-awarded to the same contractor and taken away again in 2007 on the grounds of non performance.

Mr Ahwoi was full of praise to Messrs Melgrep Company, a Ghanaian contracting firm for its professionalism and business drive and also thanked the contractor of the project for executing on schedule, which had enabled the School to have a well equipped laboratory for enhanced performance.

He said government would continue to pursue programmes that would bring development and stressed that it had been projected that the Youth in Agriculture Programme would this year create 197,000 jobs in addition to the 47,000 it created in 2009.

The Minister said the food basket of the country had contributed significantly to the downward trend in inflation in the country adding that food inflation dropped from 15.4% to 6.1% in June this year, the lowest in the last 16 years.

Source: GNA

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