General News of Sunday, 2 July 2017
It seems complaints and demonstrations against bad roads across the country will yield less or no positive results as a Deputy Minister of Roads, Kwabena Owusu Aduom has revealed the money in the Road Fund account is not enough and cannot cater for ongoing projects.
Mr. Aduom told Citi News that the Ghana Road Fund is so depleted that it will take some 10 years to pay for already awarded contracts.
“The Ministry secured a loan of GHc1.2 billion from UBA. The repayment is such that every quarter, the Ghana road fund has to pay GHc206 million.
Our projection is that for every quarter the fuel levy provides about GHc240 million to the fund so when you take 206 from 240, then we are left with about 34.
So it means that less than GHc40 million every quarter that the road fund will get to finance road projects. So the predicament is that we will not get enough funds to pay for all numerous ongoing projects,” he added.
According to the deputy Minister, the situation has been worsened by the former government’s decision to award numerous road contracts in the last quarter of its administration.
“The GHc600 million that he [the former road minister] said was in the fund, before he left office he approved project payments of over GHc300 million,” Mr. Aduom added.
Demo against bad roads There have been a series of demonstrations in parts of the country against the bad nature of roads.
Commercial drivers within Ablekuma Manhyia, Oduma and Nsakina in the Greater Accra Region, in May 2017 took to the streets to protest against the state of their roads.
Some of the drivers in the course of the protest blocked the main road linking those areas claiming that it had been in a deplorable state for close to ten years now.
The aggrieved drivers burnt tyres on the road and prevented workers and students from plying the route. Residents of Battor, the capital of the North Tongu District in the Volta Region, also hit the streets in June 2017 to protest and demand the construction of roads in the area.
Residents say the roads are in a deplorable state and become unmotorable after heavy rains. They say the situation is affecting education and businesses in the area.