Alhaji Inusah Fuseini
A total of GH¢1.056 billion, representing 88 percent of the projected road revenue for this year, has been allocated by government to some three agencies – Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), Department of Feeder Roads (DFR) and the Department of Urban Roads (DUR) to undertake routine and periodic maintenance works this year and settle outstanding indebtedness to road contractors.
The amount is almost half of GH¢2.175 billion – the total amount of money collected by the Ghana Road Fund Revenue between 2010 and July 2016.
Inusah Fuseini, Minister of Roads & Highways, who disclosed this to the media in Accra, said in 2010 the Road Fund generated a total of GH¢191 million, GH¢209.13 million in 2011, Gh¢241.37 million in 2012, GH¢271.03 million in 2013, GH¢311.02 million in 2014, and GH¢323.98 million in 2015.
Between January to July this year, an amount of GH¢627.40 million was raked in as a result of the passage of the Energy Sector Levies Act 899, which led to an upward adjustment of the fuel levy from GH¢0.40 to GH¢1.73.
For this year, an amount of GH¢1.2billion has been projected.
He further indicated that the Road Fund allocated an amount of GH¢1.0 million towards equipping the Ghana Police Service to improve Road Safety enforcement activities, adding that between January and July 2016, an amount of GH¢618 million had been disbursed for maintenance works and activities.
Debt to road contractors
The fund carried an indebtedness of GH¢336.14 million into the year 2016 which were mainly outstanding payments for works executed by road contractors.
The total indebtedness to mostly local contractors for work done as at 30th June 2016 is about GH¢342 million, the Minister stated.
He added that the recent increases in revenue to the fund will not yield an immediate impact on the road network, as a significant portion of the inflows will be used to settle the debts owed to road contractors.
The road network is continuously expanding through the creation of new districts and municipalities which hitherto did not have their road networks on the national inventory.
The recorded network size has nearly doubled over the past 10 years from 37,000 kilometres in 2010 to 71,418 kilometres currently.
The annual rapid expansion rate of the road network, he mentioned, was about six percent.
By Ernest Pappoe