Ghana: ARCC Gives Ultimatum to Modex Oil

Kumasi — THE ASHANTI Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) has directed the Modex Oil Company Limited, an oil marketing company, to halt any further development and destruction to road infrastructure of a section of the Breman-Kumasi highway.

It (RCC) says any disregard for this simple directive would compel it to use any legitimate means to stop the Oil company from further development of the site and surcharge it with any cost that might be incurred.

The directive follows a report by the Regional Directorate of the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) that the oil company had ignored definite instructions to halt development at the site and take specific actions.

In August this year, GHA slapped Modex Oil Company Limited with GH¢146, 065.64 as cost and penalty for encroaching on a road reservation of the Authority at Breman in Kumasi.

The amount includes GH¢19,052.04 which is a penalty for causing damage and unwarranted destruction of a road furniture, a thick concrete protection of the embankment and for excavating materials from the said site, without any authorization.

Modex was supposed to settle the amount by September 4, 2012, after it failed to meet an August 28, 2012, deadline.

In spite of proposed sanctions communicated to the oil company by the Regional Highway Director, Inj. Sitsofe David Addo as contained in a correspondence dated August 28, 2012, the Oil Company defied orders of the Ghana Highways Authority, Regional Lands Committee/Task Force to stop work, even after the company's attention had been drawn to the encroachment.

The GHA had indicated its intention to take appropriate action if Modex Oil refuses to honour settlement of the said amount as directed.

Failure of Modex Oil to comply with the GHA orders, led to a report being lodged with the RCC, upon which the Regional Co-ordinating Director, Mr. Kofi Dwomor-Asubonteng, on behalf of the Regional Minister in a letter dated October 6, 2012, issued the latest directive to halt the unauthorized development.

The RCC reminded Modex Oil Company that disregard for the GHA instructions is a breach of powers conferred on it (GHA) to maintain the road which is a public good reserved to ensure safety of users of the road and that any such blatant disregard of the law would not be countenanced.

As a result, the Managing Director of the Modex Oil Company, Mr. Kwabena Appiah has been ordered to stop work and report to the Regional Highway Director to settle issues to ensure that any development conforms to the road plan in the area.

"There is no intention to stop you from going about your legitimate business, but certainly not at the expense of the safety of the general public, the users of the road in this instance", the correspondence with reference AB 104/118/01 and headed : "Encroachment on road reservation and destruction of road infrastructure" indicated.

The RCC further ordered the GHA Regional Director to report back the compliance or otherwise of the RCC directive to the company within two weeks for the necessary action to be taken.

Last Thursday, Inj. Sitsofe David Addo confided in The Chronicle that Modex Oil Company has neither paid the GH¢146,065.64 cost and penalty for encroaching on a road reservation nor regularized his operation in order to be issued with a permit to authorize it to continue with any activity on the said site. "It continues to expand and encroach on the site", he said.

The GHA director said such blatant disregard for authority was detrimental to the safety of the public and urged members of the public to be law abiding in order to make the place a safe place to live in.

"Complying with simple instructions could save a nasty situation, like the Melcom disaster in Accra," he cautioned.

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