Mr Governs Kwame Agbodza, Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament, had accused the Ministry of not seeking parliamentary approval before awarding the Project to the Portuguese construction firm, Mota-Engil Engenharia E Construcao Africa S.A.
He also alleged that Mota-Engil was not qualified to undertake the project on Design and Build basis, adding that Ghanaians were capable of executing the Project, hence the Contract must be immediately cancelled and repackaged for local contractors.
However, the Ministry in a statement signed and issued by Mr Nasir Ahmed Yartey, Head of Public Relations, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said the assertions and conclusions were inaccurate and misleading.
Explaining the details of the contract, the statement noted that the Ministry in December 2020, signed a Commercial Contract with Mota-Engil.
It said the Commercial Contract as a standalone could not be sent to Parliament without the complement of a Financial Agreement because as of now, the Financing arrangements were yet to be concluded.
The statement said it was therefore premature for anybody to claim or suggest that the Minister and for that matter, the Ministry had breached the law, when the documents to be submitted to Parliament were not finalized.
“The signing of a Commercial Contract for internationally funded projects with conditions precedent before its submission to Parliament is not unusual,” it added.
The statement also explained that as an active promoter of local content, 40 per cent of all works on the Accra-Tema Motorway Extension Project, were reserved for local contractors.
However, it stated that, out of the 23 companies which expressed interest when the competitive bidding process was launched in December 2018, none was Ghanaian.
“It is therefore not accurate to give the impression that Ghanaian companies were excluded,” the statement explained.
The scope of work of the project entails a 10 – lane 19.5km motorway (4 lanes of reinforced concrete freeway, 6 lanes of Urban Highway), Reconstruction of Tetteh Quarshie to Apenkwa (5.7 km), Remodeling of Tetteh Quarshie, Apenkwa and Achimota Interchanges, Construction of 5 new Interchanges (Lashibi, Abattoir, Teshie Link, Fiesta Royale and Neoplan junction), 14No. Pedestrian Footbridges, Toll Plazas and Streetlights.
The statement said “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.”
It added that the Government through the Ministry of Roads and Highways was working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and all other relevant stakeholders to ensure that no mandate was side stepped and to obtain value for money in the interest of the nation.
“The accusations leveled against the Ministry are frivolous, groundless and amounts to palpable falsehood. The Ministry of Roads and Highways hereby informs the general public that the non-factual and misleading comments of Hon. Governs Kwame Agbodza should be disregarded,” the statement said.
On the La Beach Road Completion Project, the statement also explained that 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.”
“Again, on the Accra Intelligent Traffic Management Systems Project, the Commercial Contract was also signed in September 2012 with similar Conditions Precedent. The Cabinet and Parliamentary Approvals were secured in November and December 2018 respectively and the Contract became effective in 2019,” the statement said.