Roads and Highways Minister, Kwasi Amoako Attah has warned contractors to desist from engaging in shoddy work or risk paying more for maintaining the roads.
He said the ministry has introduced a new road concept known as the Output and Performance-Based Contract (OPBRC) aimed at increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of road asset management and maintenance.
Mr Amoako-Attah gave the warning at the groundbreaking ceremony of the feeder roads component of the European Union Ghana Agricultural Programme at Kpongu in the Wa municipality of the Upper West Region.
One major challenge faced by farmers in the Upper West Region is post-harvest loss. Several thousands of tons of farm produce go to waste at farms due to the bumpy and deplorable roads in the region.
As a result, farmers are unable to cart their produce from the farms to their homes or market centres.
However, with the introduction of the productive investment’s component, one of 3 projects under the European Union Ghana agriculture programme, several communities and farmers who hitherto faced the challenge would have their roads fixed.
Under the project a total of 670.2 KM length of feeder and farm access roads will be constructed and rehabilitated in 8 of the 11 administrative districts and municipalities in the region.
The roads to be rehabilitated also include selected roads leading to the Black Volta, existing dams and boreholes for the main purposes of irrigation activities.
Kwasi Amoako-Attah disclosed that the concept is already been piloted in other parts of the country specifically on selected feeder roads and farm access roads in the Atebubu-Amantim district.
“In traditional road construction and maintenance contracts, the contractor is not responsible for the design but only execution of the works within the contract period and one year defects liability or maintenance period.
“This method of contracting puts the responsibility of the quality of the roads during the construction period under the contractor. The more durable the road is constructed, the less maintenance the contractor undertakes,’’ he added.
However, under OPBRC, the contractor designs and constructs the roads as well as maintains the roads over a minimum of five years.
European Union (EU) Ambassador to Ghana, Diana Accouncia in a speech read on her behalf by the Deputy head of mission and head of the political section, Pieter Smidt Van Gelder stated that the European Union is committed to supporting the socio-economic transformation of Ghana, in particular the northern regions.
“The project will unlock new economic opportunities in the upper west region, diminish transport cost, thus increasing the trade of agricultural products and ultimately increase farmers and household incomes,” she said.
The contractors for the projects are Ghanaian companies and they have a duration of 42 months to complete the road projects.
Managing director of Attacky, Kwame Atta Acheampong on whose project site the minister broke the grounds for work to begin pledged to not only finish the project on the stipulated time but will ensure that the work is of quality.