Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Works and Housing, addressing participants  in a meeting in Accra
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Works and Housing, addressing participants in a meeting in Accra

Work overtime if you must - Minister charges contractors on GARID project

The Minister for Works and Housing, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has tasked contractors working on the Greater Accra Resilient and Integrated Development (GARID) project to expedite work in order to mitigate the risk of flooding in the capital during the rainy season.


The minister gave the directive during a meeting last Friday with the project’s coordinators and contractors to acquaint himself with the issues delays the critical initiative. "We've assessed how far the project is going and we've had a number of site visits to see for ourselves the kind of work that's going on. After this appraisal, it's fair for us to say that the project is not moving as quickly as we all expected," he said.

He highlighted various bottlenecks hampering the project. The initial project framework, the minister explained, mandated a two-step review process for every task, creating unnecessary delays.

Additionally, compensating project-affected residents to facilitate work in certain locations encountered setbacks. Further, the minister pointed out instances where contractors deviated from project specifications without seeking prior approval. Perhaps the most concerning delay stemmed from a budgetary reallocation with a significant portion of project funds, estimated at $65 million, diverted towards COVID-19 related expenditures.

Addressing the hurdles

The minister outlined a series of measures to tackle the challenges. To address the compensation delays, he announced that provisions had been made to ensure swift payments to affected residents by freeing up critical work areas.

On the financial front, Mr Oppong Nkrumah reassured contractors that the government was actively working with Parliament to make available the outstanding funds, including the diverted $65 million.
While acknowledging the challenges, Mr Oppong Nkrumah emphasised the urgency of the completion of the GARID projects.

He said the forthcoming rainy season posed a serious threat to flood-prone communities, hence contractors must act swiftly to safeguard lives and infrastructure. He reassured contractors of the ministry’s support in providing the needed support to ensure work progressed with speed.

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