2020 Year of Roads is for all 16 regions: Amoako-Atta Featured

The Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako-Atta, says all 16 regions in Ghana will benefit from road infrastructure work to be undertaken by the New Patriotic Party government.

He said the government sees road infrastructure as the pivot around which socio-economic development revolves, as 98 per cent of all movement of commuters and goods takes place on the country’s road network.

Speaking at a sector retreat on Wednesday in Accra, the Minister announced that the government has selected three critical roads in each of the 16 regions for construction this year.

The government requires roughly GHC30.5 billion to cover the cost of finishing uncompleted roads and other commitments under the Road Infrastructure Development programme.

Arrears cleared

The government has so far paid over GHC5bn in arrears to road contractors outstanding since 2017, Mr Amoako-Atta said. Payments were made through the Consolidated and Road Funds to contractors holding interim payment certificates on projects with a cut-off date of August 2019.

Some 168 contractors, each of whom was owed up to GHC5 million, have received payment in full. Another 210 contractors owed above that sum have received 40 per cent of the monies expected.

In addition, the government has paid all contractors owed up to GHC500,000. The 43 contractors owed GHC10,000 and above but less than GHC500,000 have been paid GHC584m in total: 100 per cent of these arrears.

Those owed between GHC500,000 and GHC10m have received GHC138.1m.

Masterplan

Delivering the keynote address at the retreat, Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia announced that reconstruction of the road in Accra from Black Star Square to Nungua, known as the Beach Road, will commence in the next four weeks.

He noted that road infrastructure is one of Ghanaians’ chief concerns, as revealed in a recent Afrobarometer survey. He assured citizens of the government’s unflinching commitment to meeting their needs and aspirations.

It is for this reason that the government signed a bauxite master agreement plan with the Sinohydro Group of China, targeting development of infrastructure in Ghana, the Vice-President said.

He explained that the US$2bn expected under the bauxite barter arrangement will be repaid using funds from refined bauxite, and will not necessarily involve allowing Chinese companies to mine bauxite directly from the forest.

Dr Bawumia urged engineers and supervisors to ensure the effective monitoring of all contractors undertaking any road project in the country, in order to deliver quality and ensure value for money.

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