Ministry rallies support for Accra-Tema Motorway

BY: Daily Graphic
The newly opened Tema Motorway roundabout interchange
The newly opened Tema Motorway roundabout interchange

The Ministry of Roads and Highways has called on all stakeholders to support the Accra-Tema Motorway expansion project.

It said the motorway, which was constructed in 1964, had exceeded its design life span. It added that the scope of the expansion project included the enlargement of the lanes, new interchanges and remodelling of the Tetteh Quashie Interchange to remove traffic bottlenecks on the corridor.

A statement signed and issued by the former Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah, explained that between 2017 and 2020 the government undertook a transparent and competitive process using Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements to select a contractor.

Call for abrogation

The former minister issued the statement in response to calls by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) caucus in Parliament on Wednesday, January 13, calling for the contract on the Accra-Tema Motorway expansion project signed between the government and Mota-Engil Engenharia E Construcao Africa S.A to be abrogated.

“The ministry wishes to state without equivocation that the assertions and conclusions made by the NDC caucus in Parliament do not represent the accurate status of the contract,” the statement said.
Due process

It said the government organised processes including a market sounding event at Alisa Hotel in September 2017, where all interested bidders were briefed on the project.

“This was followed by a prequalification process from December 2018 to February 2019 in which 23 entities took part and four were prequalified.

“The four pre-qualified bidders were requested to present proposals which was done from July 2019 to January 2020,” the statement further explained, adding that a technical and financial evaluation of the two compliant bids was also done from February 2020 to April 2020.

The statement said approval of the evaluation report by the Public-Private Partnership approval committee (PPPAC) at the Ministry of Finance was reached on June 30 last year and a mandate to negotiate with the preferred bidder, Mota-Engil Engenharia E Construcao Africa S.A,and its financing partners was arrived at.
Proposed financial arrangements

It said during the negotiations with the contractor, it emerged that the financial arrangements proposed by the contractor were not favourable to the government,“ hence the need to restructure the project as a design and build contract.

“Because of the sound technical design proposal, a decision was also taken to retain the same contractor.

“Consequently, the Ministry of Roads and Highways, through the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), rescoped the project and invited MotaEngil to submit a sole bid proposal in line with the relevant clauses of the Public Procurement Law,” the statement further explained.

It said the company’s bid was duly evaluated, negotiated and the statutory approvals were obtained from the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) and the Central Tender Review Committee (CTRC) and, therefore, a commercial contract was signed on December 16, 2020.

The statement added that further approvals would be obtained from Cabinet and Parliament after the financing arrangements were finalised.

Local content

The statement explained that the project was modelled as a composite design and build project with complex traffic issues carrying over 60,000 vehicles per day and, therefore,“ cannot be sliced-packaged for only local contractors to undertake.”

It added that the contract had strict provision for 40 per cent local content, which implied that goods and services would be provided by local contractors and businesses under the management of the Lead Contractor, Mota-Engil.

“It should be noted that at no stage during the procurement process were local contractors excluded from participation in the bidding,” the statement stressed.

The statement gave an assurance that the government, through the ministry, was working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and all the relevant procurement agencies to ensure that in the interest of the nation, no mandate was side-stepped and to obtain value for money.