General News of Monday, 3 July 2017
Government has announced it will be difficult to undertake new road projects across the country this year because the Road Fund is in distress.
This is the result of a debt of 11 billion cedis accrued by the Mahama administration which government is struggling to pay back.
According to Deputy Roads Minister Kwabena Owusu Aduomi, it will take the ministry up to 10 years of its annual budget to clear all those debts.
He says they will therefore be focusing on rehabilitating existing roads.
The previous Mahama administration is credited to having undertaken a number of projects including the Kwame Nkrumah Circle Highway at a cost of 75 million Euros.
There is also the Kasoa interchange which is costing the country $170 million to construct. Many of these projects were said to have been inflated, an allegation the previous government has been quick to deny.
But the Deputy Minister in an interview with Joy News said the new government has been left with huge debts and must halt the award of new contracts.
“As at the end of December 2016, 506 million cedis was carried into 2017 which shouldn’t have been so. The projects that were awarded the last half of the year was about 11.1 billion cedis.
“If this new government is to do anything at all it will take about 10 years to pay for this because the accruals is 1.2 billion cedis,” he said.
The Deputy Minister also lamented a loan taken from UBA for a road project which he said was on a high side.
“The Ministry secured a loan of 1.2 billion from UBA. Every quarter, UBA has to be paid 206 million so we are left with about 34 million cedis for a quarter. What can you do with such an amount?” he asked.
“This means that awarding a new project will have to be very minimal,” he said.