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Another Akufo-Addo minister in trouble over alleged procurement breach

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Minister of Roads and Highways,  Kwasi Amoako Atta

•The Minority in Parliament want the Road Ministry to terminate an agreement it signed with Morta Engil

•The NDC MPs claim the deal is illegal as it does not have parliamentary approval

•The Ministry of Roads and Highways has denied signing any such deal

The Minority in Parliament have indicated their readiness to institute parliamentary actions against the Minister of Roads and Highway Kwesi Amoako Atta if the ministry does not abrogate its contract with Portuguese construction firm Morta Engil.

Ranking Member on Parliament’s Road and Transport Committee, Governs Kwame Agbodza said though the minority is not interested in ‘unnecessary litigation”, it may be forced to subject Amoako Atta to the same treatment as Kwaku Agyeman-Manu if the government does not back out from the deal.

He said on Citi FM, the agreement between the government of Ghana and the company for the Tema Motorway expansion project lacks Parliamentary approval which is against the laws of the country.

He intimated that the constitution makes it obligatory for ministers to seek parliamentary when engaging international firms but in the case of this deal, no such thing was done.

He berated the minister for his reluctance to accept blame and make what in his wisdom should be the necessary corrections precedent for the signing of the deal.

“There are laws in this country and there is a reason we have such laws. We are not against the government embarking on infrastructure. The constitution of Ghana says anytime government enters into any kind of agreement with an international organization, you ought to necessarily go to Parliament and seek approval.

“Morta Engil is an international company not Ghanaian so on what basis did the Minister of Roads and Highways buying the contract on December 16 to include Morta Engil as the contractor. Now the Finance Ministry is now looking for money to give to Morta Engel for the contract. When we raised issues, the Road Minister said there is no Ghanaian contractor capable of building the motorway.

“We are saying that Morta Engil is an international company to must seek parliamentary approval but the ministry is saying that they got PPA approval but PPA approval is not a panacea to ignore the law.

Kwame Agbodza said that there are no differences between the conduct of Kwaku Agyeman-Manu and Amoako Atta and that the minority will consider all available options if they continue.

‘If we are talking about the Health Minister not coming to Parliament then what the “Roads Minister is doing is the same thing. If he fails to bring the deal before parliament, we will take the necessary steps. The Health Minister said all that but he didn’t come to parliament and we’ve been on his case so why are defending the Roads Minister. The Roads Minister even started committing this crime before the Health Minister and started getting himself into trouble. The Roads Minister told us we can go to court so he is aware he is breaking the law,” he said.

His position was however dismissed by the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry who maintains that no contract has been signed between the government of Ghana and the construction for the execution of the $570 million Accra-Tema Motorway expansion project.

Nasir Ahmad Yartey said “I want to assure Ghanaians that whatever contract there would be, it will go to Parliament. The government has not signed any financial contract and we are not going to commence any project. When we are ready for a financial contract, we will send it to Parliament.

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