Ghana: Government allocates GH¢13.6 billion for cocoa roads

The government has allocated GH¢13.6 billion for the construction of 286 cocoa roads. The Minister of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has told Parliament.

The roads, with a total span of 4,465 kilometres (km), were made up of 258 feeder roads and 28 highway/trunk roads.

According to the sector minister, the projects would be delivered between 12 and 48 months, depending on the contract.

He told parliament that the review process and project preparation had been done upon several engagements and consideration with major stakeholders.

According to him, “Funds are always made available with little delay to ensure work progress smoothly.”

Dr Akoto’s comment was in response to a question filed by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Adaklu, Mr Governs Kwame Agbodza.

The MP wanted to know the number of cocoa road contracts that has been awarded since 2017, the method of procurement used in selecting the contractors, and how the ministry intended to pay for those projects.

He explained that through the assistance and guidance of the Department of Feeder Roads and the Ghana Highway Authority, procurement processes such as competitive tendering, restricted tendering, and single-source processes were used for the award of the contracts.

Over 800 contractors were contracted in the tendering process, and in all, 40 road contracts with a total length of 328 km were procured under the competitive process at the cost of GH¢496 million.

As stated by the sector minister, there were also 69 road projects covering a total length of 651 km that were procured under restricted tendering procedures at GH¢1.6 billion.

“Mr Speaker, a total of 177 road projects were procured under single source tendering procedures; 150 projects came under Department of Feeder Roads (2,218 km) at the cost of GH¢4.28 billion and 27 projects under Ghana Highway Authority (1,270 km) at the cost of GH¢7.3 billion.

“The remaining 30 to 40% is deferred and scheduled to be paid within 12 months after project completion. This is to provide respite for COCOBOD to manage the cash flow requirements,” he said.

The minister added that COCOBOD had programmed to finance the cocoa road projects through a four-year COCOBOD budget cycle relative to the life span of the contracts.

“The life span of the 40 competitive tendering, 68 restricted tendering and 150 projects (predominantly feeder roads) range from 12 to 24 months, and their payment falls within the four-year budget cycle.

“It is important to note that one project (Nkawkaw-New Abirem road) is funded through a joint venture arrangement between COCOBOD and Newmont Ghana Gold Limited,” he said.

He added that in the case of 27 projects (predominantly highway/trunk roads spanning 24-48 months on average), payment arrangement had been negotiated with the contractors based on proof of working capital and the ability of the contractors to mobilise and commence works.

Under this approach, project execution and payment have been tied to an agreed milestone completion of “up to about 60 to 70% of the contract price was paid upon the successful completion of the project.

Dr Akoto further stated that a premium had been given to the national competitive tendering contracts that attracted bidding from over 800 contractors who participated.

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