British bridge builder caught in corruption scandal in Ghana returns under new owners and contract

A British bridge construction company that was caught in multiple bribery and corruption scandals around the world and in Ghana around 2010, Mabey & Johnson, has returned to the country on a £43 million contract to build 89 bridges. This deal was developed at the third UK-Ghana Business Council in 2019.

Mabey & Johnson has been a leading builder of bridges around the world.

Two ministers whose names came up during the trial of Mabey & Johnson in London, Dr. George Sipa Yankey, Minister of Health and Amadu Seidu, Minister of State at the Presidency resigned from their jobs October 9, 2010.

The British Serious Office that investigated and found Mabey & Johnson guilty, fined the company £5 million.

In 2012, the company was among 21 summoned before Parliament to explain their indebtedness to the Ghana government. The companies were asked to explain their inability to repay a government of Ghana guaranteed loan of £112.5 million.

The company since the incidents, went through a number of transformations including having an externally accredited anti-corruption management system to BS10500 of The British Standards Institution (BSI) which is the UK’s national standards body. In 2018 it also obtained the ISO 37001 accreditation, which demonstrates its management systems work to counter bribery and corruption.

The Ghana government on October 28, 2020 selected Mabey Bridges as the preferred supplier for a major new emergency bridge programme. Under the programme, Mabey Bridges will build 89 emergency bridges across Ghana.

Mabey Bridges has said in a press release copied to, that the £43m bridge programme was developed by the Ministry of Roads and Highways as part of its strategy to improve connectivity for rural communities post-disaster, enabling quicker, safer and more efficient access to employment, education and healthcare. Mabey Bridges will design, manufacture and deliver the 89 bridges over two years.

“It also provides full technical support to assist with local project management and implementation, and incorporates a comprehensive training package for local engineers delivered by an expert qualified bridge installation team, both in the UK and in-country,” the company said.

Mabey Bridge is now a US company, Acrow Group subsidiary based in Gloucestershire, UK.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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