General News of Tuesday, 4 July 2017
Today can confirm that the barely seven-month old government of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is cash-strapped.
Contrary to the NPP’s campaign message in the run-up to the 2016 election that there was enough money in the country to fund developmental projects, our sources at the seat of government has revealed that it was becoming increasingly difficult for the Akufo-Addo administration to run the country.
This, the sources indicated, was due to the lack of funds in the national kitty.
And one sector of the economy which has been hard hit by the development, Today gathered, was the ministry of roads.
The Road Fund, according to the Deputy Kwabena Owusu Aduomi, has become virtually empty, making it extremely difficult for the new administration to fund new road projects.
In view of this, the deputy minister said the recent calls by some opinion leaders in some communities in the country, including some members of Parliament (MPs), on government to move in and rehabilitate some deteriorating roads, would be difficult.
Speaking to a cross-section of journalists in Accra last week, the deputy minister made it clear that the money in the road fund money was not enough to cater for ongoing road projects.
“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 is what every quarter 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 said.
He blamed the previous government for this problem. According to him, the former government’s decision to award numerous road contracts in the last quarter of its administration was the cause for the depleted fund.
The Ghana Road Fund was established in 1985 to provide a secure source of funding for preservation of Ghana’s road networks.
The Fund was restructured under the Road Fund Act, Act 536, 1997. The Act provides the general overall direction for the Fund.
The sources of revenue into the fund are derived from proportions of government levy on petrol, diesel and refined fuel oil as may be determined by Cabinet with the approval of Parliament.
Other sources of revenue are bridge, ferry and road tolls collected by the Authority; vehicle license and inspection fees; international transit fees, collected from foreign vehicles entering the country; and monies as the minister responsible for finance in consultation with the minister may determine with the approval of Parliament.