$150m Roads For Cocoa Regions

The Minister of Roads and Highways, Inussah Fuseini says government is committing about $150 million into the construction of roads in the six cocoa growing regions in the country beginning September, 2014.

The move, according to the minister, would help in the carting of cocoa from the remote growing areas to the city centres for export with ease, among other things.

‘Cocoa roads under the feeder, urban and highway sectors will be constructed, especially those in the northern part of the Western region where a lot of cocoa farms have been cultivated.

The Minister disclosed this when he and President John Mahama inspected the progress of work on some roads which are being constructed in Takoradi last Tuesday.

‘Let me crave the indulgence of the people of the Western Region to exercise patience because the government is not oblivious of the need to provide critical road infrastructure in the region to aid in transportation of people and goods,’ he added.

More Toll Booths
The Roads and Highways Minister noted that as part of efforts to raise more money for road maintenance in the country, his ministry had decided to increase the number of toll booths in the country.

He indicated that there were some places in the country that had few or no tollbooths at all.

He noted that people in those areas, who own cars and use the roads and bridges, need to pay money to help maintain the roads.

‘Take for instance a place like Takoradi, there are no tollbooths on most of the major roads and so if we are able to implement the scheme we should be able to get enough money to continuously maintain those roads,’ Hon Inussah Fuseini added.

He pointed out that most of the tollbooth attendants did not account properly for the amount of money collected.

To this end, he noted that his ministry would soon introduce and electronic system, which would make it difficult for the attendants to cheat the state.

Stalled Road Projects
Touching on why the construction of most of the roads in the northern parts of the Western region had delayed, the Minister indicated that most of the contractors want to be paid while working.

He pointed out that the delay in payments for road construction had an adversely affected the progress of work by the contractors.

He, however, indicated that projects that were being funded by the country’s development partners had not experienced any delay and the contractors kept to the time schedule.

‘What we are also doing is to try and seek funding from external sources for projects that are being implemented by the government of Ghana,’ he added.

He stated that ‘we believe if we are able to offload those projects that are being funded by the government of Ghana onto the donor partners, money will be available and contractors will be able to construct those roads in no time.

FROM Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi

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