Former Vice Chairman of the Ghana Chamber of Construction Industry, Dr Adam Bonaa has rebuffed a claim by the former chairperson of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Prof Stephen Adei, that government officials demand 1 million cedis before awarding road contracts.
According to Dr Bonaa, while there may be elements of corruption in the road construction industry, contractors have not been paid for work done as far back as 2018 when Prof Adei was serving as Board Chairman of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).
He is thus wondering why Prof Adei is now coming out to make such claims when he expressly failed to do so when he was an appointed member of the government.
“People who all of a sudden wants us to think they are a voice of conscience when they talk, we should ask them to bring proof because as far as I am concerned the same contractors, he is saying are paying money to be given contracts have not been paid. So if contractors have worked and they are not paid, on what grounds will the same contractor come to you to pay you for you to give him a contract to do because they are not getting paid. You can ask any contractor in this country,” he stated in an interview with GhanaWeb.
Describing the comment by Prof Adei as coming from a bitter place, Dr Bonaa noted that a person of his standing cannot be regarded as a voice of conscience.
“I feel he is bitter because he was sacked as chairman of GRA Board. He is bitter and therefore he is finding excuses and sounding as if he is a voice of conscience. For me, he should be disregarded, the public should disregard him because when he was chairman what was he able to do before he was sacked? Did he improve upon collection? We need to know.
“Did we not hear about some members of Council of State who had brought in things and were not paying? Was he not there? This lady who was a member of the Council of State, Labianca, was he not there? And so as far as I am concerned, I think he is bitter. I think he should be disregarded. Prof. Adei is bitter because as far as I am concerned contractors in Ghana are burdened with the inability of the Finance Ministry to pay them after working,” he stated.
Prof Adei in a recent interview with TV3 criticised the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-led government among other things alleging that officials were taking monies to award contracts for projects including roads.
He said that the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, should be ashamed of himself if he is aware of the shady deals going on in his government.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Roads and Highways has referred Prof Adei’s allegations to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) for investigation.
According to the ministry, while it remains committed to ensuring transparency in the award of road contracts, it finds the allegation to be serious hence the need for the investigation.