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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Govt Pounces On Ex-DCEs

The Western Regional Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo has hinted that government would prosecute all road contractors in the region who took various sums of money in the form mobilization during the reign of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government, but failed to execute contracts for which the money was paid to them.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Western regional Coordinating Council in Sekondi, yesterday, the Minister said though the contractors numbered about 45, took various sums of money from the government to re-seal some of the feeder and major roads in the region, they did not set foot on the project site, let alone execute the contract. He named some of the companies involved as Franced, Gabassan, El-Shine Limited, Maripoma Enterprise Limited, Westlande Company Limited, Ghaber Ghana limited, Auroras Limited, Firmastert Limited, Nyagsi Engineering Limited, Bonso Brothers Grp.Limited, Kamsad construction Limited and Eagle Star Enterprise among a host of others.

According to the Minister, the aforementioned companies collectively took several millions of Ghana cedis from the government, but have failed to execute their respective contracts. He said the government would not sit idle for state funds to be dissipated in such a manner, and would use all legal means to retrieve the money from them. In order to address these challenges and prevent future occurrences, the Minister charged all Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) in the Region to strictly perform their respective supervisory and monitoring roles to check contractors who would be engaged by the current government.

The Minister also noted that whilst some of the contractors took the money but failed to execute the contract, those who decided to honour it performed below standard. He warned that his administration would terminate their contracts and blacklist all of them if they failed to live up to expectation. He named some of the companies which fall under this category as Kendick’s Construction Limited, which is owned by Mr. Dickson Nketiah, a leading member of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the region.

According to Hon. Aidoo, Kendick’s construction Limited bidded and won a contract for spot improvement on the Sui-Yawkrom and Aprutu Mesrenyame roads on 16th February 2007, but failed to perform satisfactorily. He also named Jerbarfo Limited, who won the contract for spot improvement on the Anakum Dankwawura no 2 phase 1 road on October 25 2008, but no serious progress has been made on the road.

Mr. Aidoo also mentioned Maico Ghana limited as one of the disappointing contractors which could not execute the contract awarded to it. The firm was supposed to do spot improvement on Anyiase-Tumentu phase 1 and 2 roads, but failed to do satisfactory work. In the same vein, Josano Limited was also mentioned for failing to work on spot improvement of Mile 82 at Bodi, whilst Justmoh Limited which was to work on surface dressing on Alabokazo-Ekwei road also failed to live up to expectation. The regional Minister cautioned that if the above contracts were terminated, the contractors would be made to refund all monies that have been paid to them by the government.

In a related development, the Eastern Regional Minister, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo has ordered the National Democratic Congress (NDC) District Chief Executives (DCEs) in the region to drag former DCEs who served in the Kufuor government to court if they have evidence to prove that they abused office. “Never hesitate to drag former government functionaries to court to answer questions surrounding contracts they awarded if you suspect that they were not awarded in a transparent manner”, he ordered.
He also called for the immediate constitution of an independent Committee of Inquiry to thoroughly investigate the acquisition of land, award of contract and funding of the assembly’s mango farm, and bring to book anybody who would be found culpable of misappropriation of funds, in order to serve as a deterrent to other Public Servants. Ofosu Ampofo gave the order when he addressed members of the Yilo Krobo Assembly during the 7th Ordinary Meeting of the 4th Session of the Assembly, held in Somanya last Monday.

The Minister’s order stemmed from the fact that almost all the Assemblies in the region owed contractors who were awarded contracts by the erstwhile DCEs. According to him, the development of every Assembly depend on its members and internally generated funds, as well as funds allocated to the various assemblies by the central government, and therefore charged the assemblies to rise up and meet the expectation of their people.

The regional Minister expressed concern about the GH¢ 869,949.13 made up of GH¢ 783,654.15 for contracts and utilities, GH¢ 36,500.00 for land compensation, GH¢ 44,114.48 for counterpart contributions and GH¢ 5,680.50 for DWST incentives owed by the assembly. He noted that contractors have dragged some of the Assemblies to court as result of some of these debts. “In instances where the court ruled in favor of the contractors, the already indebted Assemblies were asked to pay with interest, variations and the actual amount of money to the contractors which has deepened the financial positions of the Assemblies”, he underscored.

The Chronicle

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