In a matter of a year’s time, local contractors will be able to access state-of-the-art equipment from the government, in support of their work, and at very reasonable interests.
That is the assurance of the minister-designate for Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako Attah, also as a way of improving the capacities of local contractors.
He made this known in response to a question on what the government has been doing to support local contractors be competitive, on the back of claims by the nominee that they do not match up to international standards. This was during his vetting at Parliament’s Appointments Committee on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.
“It is very sad and pitiful that as of today if we subject our local contractors to competing for international biding, they will fall short. A lot has been done to beef up their capacity but almost all our contractors prefer to remain as individual contractors and do not want to come together to pull resources and that is lacking yet that is the way we can build their capacity.
“Road construction is capital intensive and if they continue to operate as individuals, it will be difficult to build their capacity. As a government, great effort must be made to pay them regularly so they don’t lose out on high-interest payments to banks on the monies they pay. We are also planning – it has not materialized yet, but I believe within a year from now, of arranging a facility to bring in some equipment to support contractors, in an attempt to build their capacities, at a very reasonable interest,” he said.
Kwesi Amoako Attah also disclosed a new clause that has existed since 2015 in all international contracts the country signs with contractors, to include their local compatriots.
“Again, every contract we’ve signed since 2015, there is a clause of adding 40% local content and government insists on that, not only in the roads ministry but in all other sectors. We do that to ensure that through tech transfer, our contractors will take part in these contracts,” he explained.