Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com| Isaac Essel
A leading member of the Parliamentary Committee on Roads and Transport has defended the 172 million dollar Kasoa Interchange, asserting that the cost has not been inflated.
Kofi Owusu-Aduomi explained on Joy FM’s Top Story that the quoted figure was the projected cost and not the actual cost which is yet to be approved by Parliament.
As a professional civil engineer, he stated, the Ministry of Roads and Transport brought “the projected cost of the project and when the detailed design and everything have been completed, they [will] come back to Parliament to tell us the actual cost of the project,” he said.
When asked if his committee has seen the actual cost of the interchange, Mr. Owusu-Aduomi answered in negative. “No, no; they haven’t finished with the detailed design of the project so they have not come to Parliament for us to have a look at the overall cost of the project.”
The New Patriotic Party’s flagbearer for the 2016 elections, Nana Akufo-Addo yesterday alleged that the 172 million dollar contract has been inflated, challenging President Mahama to check the figures again.
But Mr. Owusu-Aduomi seems to be at a loss as to where Nana Akufo-Addo got the figure which he presented as the actual cost. He said it is only after looking at the detailed design of the structure, the road, and subsoil structure among others that one can arrive at the actual cost.
“According to the unit cost that the ministry gave us, I have done a crosscheck of the unit cost per a kilometer of an asphaltic concrete road, and it was one million US dollars per a kilometer, and it was the same one million that the Department of Urban Roads brought. So on that I said it is within what I have checked so I was OK.”
He further remarked, “I cannot say that I failed my people [in doing due diligence to ensure value for money]; what was given to us that we work on as a committee, for me, I did not see that the interchange was inflated or the road project was inflated or not, no.”
Mr. Owusu-Aduomi has debunked an earlier erroneous impression created by the Vice Chairman of the Roads and Transport Committee, Tetteh Chaie, suggesting that he (Aduomi) feels betrayed and hurt by Nana Akufo-Addo’s comments about the Kasoa Interchange.
Mr Chaie has since apologized for bringing what he claimed is being felt by Mr. Owusu-Aduomi into the public domain.
He however felt vindicated by Mr. Owusu-Aduomi’s admission that the project cost has not been bloated.
He reiterated that when the project was brought to Parliament, “members from both sides had no problem…members were never divided in the course of approving it”.
He therefore demanded constructive criticism from all politicians.
The project approved by Parliament in October comprises the construction of 200m of Interchange Bridge, a new roundabout, drainage and public lighting, the 33-kilometre Amasaman-Kasoa road and the 20 kilometres of roads in the Ga South municipality and Kasoa