The Minister of Roads and Highways, could just be passing out as a political chameleon playing smart with the intelligence of Ghanaians as far as the inner workings of the ministry he had superintend over since 2017 is concerned.
On Wednesday, August 23, 2023, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, declared that there were a lot of corrupt people and thieves in his Ministry, whom he merely dismissed to go home.
But less than two months later; on Monday October 23, 2023, the same man has dragged the former Rector of the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Prof. Stephen Adei, before the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) asking him to cooperate with investigations into his allegation that road contractors in Ghana are charged GH¢1 million ahead of award of contracts, execution and even payments.
A visibly angry, Mr Amoako-Atta during an inspection tour of the ongoing VALCO roundabout to the Kpone road reconstruction project, was captured in a viral video saying at the time that when some of the corrupt people are sacked and new ones are brought in, the new entrants are worse than those sacked.
The Minister of Roads and Highways, had insisted that his Ministry is full of corrupt officials with many of them involved in thievery and other bad practices that hinder the quality of roads constructed in the country.
He had told journalists after inspecting the works that, officials of his Ministry should be held responsible for the deteriorating nature of roads in Ghana.
He bemoaned the countless times some of these alleged corrupt officials were dismissed and replaced with new ones who turned out to be worse than the dismissed ones and called for the prosecution of such officials to discourage the practice.
“There are a lot of corrupt people, there are a lot of thieves in my own Ministry. You sack them and employ new ones, the new ones turn out to be worse than the ones dismissed. What sort of country are we building for ourselves? Somebody must apprehend these people but no one is doing that.”
Interestingly, Mr Amoako-Atta, is now chasing Prof Adei, who had alleged in an interview with TV3 that he had information to the effect that persons seeking road contracts were told: “Road contracts will be given to you, provided you pay
1 million upfront….”
He said “One of the greatest disappointments of Nana Akufo-Addo’s regime is that honestly, he raised the hope of Ghanaians. Ghanaians expected they have gotten a leader with a vision, with charisma, with the determination and it seems if he doesn’t redeem himself in the next 14 months, he would go down in history as one of the most disappointing leaders,” he said.
He added “This road contract would be given to you, provided you put one million upfront, not after you have gotten the money. This is what Akufo-Addo must be thinking about and if he knows about it, he must be ashamed.
“That now his people demand from you a certain amount before you would be considered for a job. Why? Because when they get it, whether the government pays you or not they have gotten their money. It is as if people are in a hurry to loot the country before the end of Akufo-Addo’s term.”
Acting on this allegation, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, on Monday October 23, 2023, requested the Executive Director of the EOCO, to fully probe the allegations.
According to the Roads Ministry, these allegations are surprising at the least, because the processes leading to the award of road contracts are open, transparent, competitive and in accordance with the law.
“Given that the alleged conduct borders on the commission of crime against the Republic, the Minister of Roads and Highways, Hon. Kwasi Amoako-Attah, has today, 23rd October 2023, requested the Executive Director of the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) to fully investigate the allegations.
“The Ministry wishes to assure the public that it shall cooperate fully and support EOCO in the conduct of its investigation,” a statement issued by the Ministry on Monday, October 23 said.
Speaking further on the matter on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 Monday, the Head of Public Relations at the Ministry of Roads and Highways, Nasir Ahmad Yartey, said “the allegations are very serious, they touch on the integrity of the Ministry, this is a ministry that takes its integrity and image very seriously and so for such an allegation of such serious magnitude we feel that we have to invite the appropriate state institution to go into the matter, we need to be very transparent about it.
“We want to use this medium to call on the Professor to assist EOCO in coming up with the truth and also call on the public if anybody has any information regarding paying one million bribes upfront for contracts, they should assist EOCO so that at least they can unravel this allegation.”