THREE PETROLEUM REVENUE PROJECTS STALL

Three projects partly funded with petroleum revenues in the Greater Accra and Central regions have stalled due to delays in payment.

The projects include the rehabilitation of selected roads at Teshie Camp, Southern Command and Mats (now Ghana Military Academy), and the construction of Teshie Link, both located in the Ledzokuku Municipality in the Greater Accra Region.

They also include the Anomabo Fisheries College which comprises an 18-unit classroom block, hostel facility, administration block and a laboratory located at Anomabo in the Central Region.

This came to light when the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) inspected selected projects funded with petroleum revenues in the Greater Accra and Central regions.

PIAC, however, said the construction of a flyover across the Tema Motorway, from the Flowerpot Roundabout had made physical progress of 70 per cent at the time of the visit.

STATEMENT

A statement issued by PIAC said: “The inspection of oil-funded projects undertaken by PIAC is based on information provided by the Ministry of Finance on projects and the accompanying disbursements of petroleum revenues through the ABFA.”

The projects, which received about GH¢187.73 million as part funding from the annual budget funding amount (ABFA) from 2012 to 2022, were at different stages of construction before they stalled.

The inspection in the Greater Accra and Central regions took place simultaneously.

The PIAC Team in Accra was led by the Chair, Emerita Professor Elizabeth Ardayfio-Schandorf, while that of the Central Region was led by Nana Kweku Dei, known in private life as Ransford Tetteh.

ACCRA PROJECTS

In Accra, the team was accompanied on the inspection by officials of the Department of Urban Roads of the Ministry of Roads and Highways, and the Ledzokuku Municipal Assembly.

On the rehabilitation of selected roads at the Teshie Camp, Southern Command and Mats, the team toured the rehabilitated roads, a car park and a parade ground within the Southern Command at Teshie.

PIAC said the contract for this project which was awarded on July 13, 2020 was supposed to have been completed within 24 months.

However, at the time of PIAC’s visit, the project was 24 per cent physically complete.

Out of the contract sum of GH¢145.82 million, petroleum revenue of GH¢7.39 million, representing 5.07 per cent, was disbursed to the project in 2022.

TESHIE LINK ROAD

The second project the PIAC team inspected was the construction of the 7.5-kilometre Teshie Link.

Involving the construction of a new road and drainage structures, with earthworks and asphaltic concrete surfacing, the contract was awarded on October 2019 at an initial contract duration of 18 months.

Out of the original contract sum of GH¢87.88 million, petroleum revenue of GH¢29.74 million, representing 33.84 per cent, was disbursed to the project from 2019 to 2021.

The Teshie Link Road is a dual carriageway that commences in the south on the Accra-Tema coastal road, through LEKMA Hospital and terminates on the Spintex Road.

At the time of PIAC’s visit, 95 per cent of all drainage works had been completed, and asphalt binder and wearing course laid on the road.

The team was informed that the contractor had suspended work due to non-payment of funds. 

Outstanding works include the installation of traffic signals and road markings to show a controlled intersection.

The absence of these had resulted in several vehicle crashes in the area.

FLYOVER

On the flyover across the Tema Motorway, PIAC said the revised contract sum of GH¢284.67 million, a total of GH¢141.10 million, representing 49.56 per cent, was disbursed from the ABFA in 2022.

Located at the Flowerpot Roundabout, Spintex and East Legon, it involves creating access from the Motorway to the Boundary Road Roundabout and an exit into Cantonments from the Giffard Road Interchange.

It consists of one mainline bridge, two ramp bridges, four auxiliary roads and ancillary works.

 At the time of PIAC’s visit, the project had made physical progress of 70 per cent.

CENTRAL PROJECTS

In the Central Region, the PIAC team inspected three projects, including the Anomabo Fisheries College, a 90-bed Hostel Block at Saltpond and an irrigation infrastructure at Mprumem.

Two out of the three, a 90-bed hostel block at Saltpond and an irrigation infrastructure at Mprumem, had been completed.

Accompanied by officials of the Mfantseman Municipal Assembly, the team inspected the Anomabo Fisheries College Project, which had received an amount of GH¢9.51 million from the ABFA from 2012 to 2022.

Since the committee’s last visit to the project site in 2020, the construction of a teachers’ residential building has started, and a road contract has been awarded.

The 4.6km road project, which starts within the campus and ends at the main Accra-Cape Coast highway, is currently at phase one (sub-base).

The road contract, originally valued at GH¢8 million, has been through three variation orders and is currently valued at approximately GH¢27 million, primarily due to payment delays.

The committee also notes that the hostel facility and the 18-unit classroom block had not been fitted with beds and study desks, respectively.

Also, the laboratory, classroom block and hostel facilities had developed structural defects at the time of PIAC’s inspection.

Across all the projects visited, the issue of delayed payments to contractors was noted. 

REACTION

After the Accra inspection, the Chair of the committee, in the statement, expressed concern about the paltry sums of petroleum revenues allocated to some ongoing infrastructure projects in the country.

She noted that the allocated funds which were channeled to those projects through ABFA did not indicate significant contributions to the total funds of those projects.

PIAC, she said, would continue to make its case for more prudent use of the country’s petroleum revenues, to ensure that enough funds were committed to complete earmarked projects.

Emerita Professor Ardayfio-Schandorf expressed gratitude to the Assembly officials and stakeholders who contributed to the success of the inspection.

SOURCE: DAILY GRAPHIC

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