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General News
Minister disagree with Transport Ministry 3/16/2007
Koforidua, March 15, GNA- The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Yaw Barimah has expressed his disagreement with the Ministry of Transport over the suspension of the payment of advance mobilization loans to contractors.

He was speaking at the formal opening of the two-day Annual Management Seminar of the Department of Feeder Roads at Koforidua on Wednesday.

Mr Barimah explained that, road construction was a very expensive project and so must be supported by the Ministry or else there could be delays in its execution by the contractors.

He said if project managers of the Ministry and agencies fail to deduct the due advance mobilization loans given to contractors when paying them, then the Ministry must re-organise itself and call its officials to order.

Mr Barimah therefore called on the Ministry of Transport to take a second look at the policy.

The Deputy Minister of Transport, Mr Magnus Opare-Asamoah in his response explained that, the suspension of the payment of the advance mobilization loans by the Ministry was a temporary measure to help put its house in order.

He said it was also to ensure that it avoids the situation where some contractors collect the loans and use them for other purposes. The Ministry he said, had not been able to honour the payment of contractors for work done due to inadequate funds and expressed the hope that the suspension of the mobilization loans would help speed up the payment.

Mr Opare -Asamoah said the Ministry was concerned about the number of contractors who procure contracts with falsified certificates, which was a crime.

He urged the regional engineers, evaluation panels and heads of department under the Ministry to ensure that, all contractors certificates submitted for tendering any project was verified with the monthly lists of contractors posted on the website of the ministry.

Mr Opare-Asamoah warned regional engineers and heads of department that they would be sanctioned if they award contracts to companies not on the list of classified contractors on the ministry''s website. Mr Opare-Asamoah expressed the concern of government over the slow execution of road projects due to some of the contractors who take on contracts all over the regions making it difficult for them to complete on time and also to specification.

He commended the Department of Feeder Roads for their over all performance and ability to complete 70 per cent of their work schedule for last year.

Mr Opare-Asamoah however cautioned the department to improve upon its performance to help build a good image for it self. The Director of the Department of Feeder Roads, Mr Elvis Asafo-Adjei, said last year, the department was able to provide periodic maintenance on 17,340 kilometres of road out of the projected 26,580 kilometres representing 65 per cent.

He said out of the projected 227 kilometres of roads it earmarked for bitumen surfacing, only 176 kilometres representing 78 per cent was tackled.Source:

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