The Ministry of Roads and Highways has said it has completed a review of all road projects in its portfolio, and the recommendations are being studied for implementation.
The Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, told parliament that the ministry and its road agencies are also discussing challenges which affect contractors’ output.
Some of these challenges include: inadequate contractor capacity, inadequate supply and scarcity of construction materials at project sites, delays in payment for work done, and contractors’ lack of access to credit facilities.
The overall objective of the review, the minister said, was to achieve value-for-money on the projects and ensure that contract payments are adequately covered by the road and consolidated funds.
Projects that have been awarded but are yet to commence were reviewed, with a view to rationalise them for termination or re-scoping.
Projects with a low percentage of progress have also been reviewed and are to be rationalised for termination or re-scoping.
Also, projects that have long exceeded their completion dates without tangible reasons for extension will be terminated and repackaged, and new contracts procured on competitive basis.
On whether government suspended any ongoing road project under review, the minister indicated that: “During this review, no project has been suspended; they are all ongoing until the final decision is taken.
“I want to assure the House that because of the importance of roads, we are going through this review and rationalisation processes expeditiously,” he said.
The Akufo-Addo led government has said its inability to fully embark on road projects is a result of the huge debt left behind by the previous administration.
The ministry said the previous administration left a debt of close to GH¢11.6 billion.
“The debt overhang in the Ministry is huge; close to GH¢11.6 billion in commitments – all contracts put together – and that is big,” Deputy Roads Minister Anthony Karbo is quoted as saying.
He further indicated that the ministry only receives GH¢1.2 billion from the Road Fund every year – adding that due to the relatively low amount it receives annually, the ministry is considering other sources of funding for road projects.