28 January 2013

Ghana: No Work, No Pay - Sulemani Cautions

The minister-designate for Roads and Highways, Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemana has cautioned road contractors who use dubious means of getting paid for no work done to be wary of their ways.

According to him, his outfit would not hesitate to crack the whip against offenders who flout the professional code of ethics for the construction industry when given the nod to manage the ministry.

"It is criminal for any contractor to claim money for work not done. When our team of competent engineers at the ministry notices this, the appropriate professional sanctions would be applied," noted the nominee for the Ministry of Roads and Highways.

Alhaji Sulemani made this observation last Friday when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament to answer questions relating to the ministry he is being assigned to by the President.

The issue of payment of money to contractors for no work done has become a worry to successive governments since the nation loses millions of tax payers' money through this conduct.

In a bid to forestall the phenomenon, the administration of the present government has resolved to crack the whip where applicable to serve as deterrent to other contractors who indulge in this unprofessional act.

Commenting further, Alhaji Sulemani said his outfit would ensure that there was value for money for any road contract awarded by his ministry. "No work, no pay," he argued.

He said shoddy work would also not be countenanced and therefore, urged contractors to give their maximum best in ensuring that quality is achieved whenever they win any contract from the government.

Responding to a suggestion by Bishop Dag Heyward Mills for the government to award 30% of all business contracts to the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), the sector minister-designate noted that such a suggestion was misplaced. He argued that since the award of contract goes through procurement processes, it would be wrong to change the status quo to benefit contractors affiliated to particular political parties.

He told the committee that no one should expect to win a contract from his ministry based on his or her political affiliation, insisting that contracts should be won on merit. "Contracts are won on merit irrespective of the party that one belongs to. Contracts are not shared like groundnuts. Contracts are given out through procurement process and whoever falls within the award, will be given the contract," he noted.

The Head Pastor of the Lighthouse Chapel International, delivering a sermon recently, asked the Mahama-led administration to offer the NPP followers at least 30% of all business contracts to ensure equitable and fair distribution of the national cake.

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