The Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, has challenged the Acting Auditor General, Johnson Akuamoah Asiedu, to conduct an audit into all road contracts awarded by the ministry.
He says this will enable the prosecution of individuals found to have inflated contract sums.
The Minister contends that instead of blaming technocrats or other civil servants within the contract-award chain, politicians are mostly blamed for the overpricing of projects.
In an interview with the media after a meeting with some consultants in the road sector, Mr. Amoako-Attah said his outfit is ready to hand over documents of all road contracts for auditing.
“I have challenged the Auditor General to come to my Ministry. We will hand over documents to him to conduct an audit [of roads]. He should expose the parties to any suspected overpricing even if it involves prosecution. So that when they are put before the court, they expose the politician(s) involved.”
In the past, there have been public reports suggesting that some road contracts were awarded at over-priced costs.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), for instance, has blamed the Ministry for the development.
Political parties have also traded accusations against each other for such bloated contracts because the projects were awarded to their cronies.
The Minister had earlier told Parliament that the Akufo-Addo administration has, since January 2017, awarded road contracts amounting to GHS 6.5 billion.
This sum covers 258 roads and 20 bridge projects, totalling a little over 3,000 kilometres.
Meanwhile, the government has put on hold the awarding of new road contracts for the year 2021.
The decision is for government to channel all resources into the completion of ongoing projects.
The government had earlier declared 2021 as the second year of roads.
The sector minister indicated that road contractors will be paid all outstanding arrears to complete continuing projects.
Worth noting is the concern of the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry, which complained that over US$1.8 billion was needed to settle debts owed to contractors and consultants in the country.