Ministry Engages Consultants To Improve Road Classification

THE Ministry of Road and Highways (MRH) is collaborating with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to improve the road network in the country.

Consequently it has engaged a consultant to improve the road classification system to provide a road map for the management of the road network.

This is to deepen the collaboration efforts between agencies and institutions involved within the ongoing decentralisation arrangements by the government in the road sector.

Mr Isaac Adjei Mensah, deputy roads and highways minister announced this at a meeting between the Department of Feeder Roads(DFR) and Department of Urban Roads(DUR) to consolidate the presence of MRH at the regional level within the decentralised environment.

The day’s meeting discussed issues relating to the operations of the regional offices of the agencies in view of the decentralisation.

Various institutional consultancies, according to the deputy minister, have been undertaken with the sole aim of preserving the huge investment in the country’s road network while ensuring that the human capacities are continuously developed to manage the asset.

He noted with concern that the Department of Feeder Roads

have since 2007 had in place regional offices to coordinate the road activities on their network while the urban roads department have only this year established regional offices to perform similar roles, however both agencies have been bedevilled with challenges that have tended to weaken the operations of the regional offices.

”These challenges have included local government agencies seeking to assert their authority over the regional institutions, weak human capacity and the unavailability of requisite logistics to effectively manage the network, coupled with the delays in payment have contributed to the continuous deterioration of the road network as evidenced by the declining annual road condition mix indicators,” he observed.

Mr. Mensah, also a Member of Parliament for Wassa East said there have been series of discussions and dialogue between the road agencies and the local government authorities which had served to identify the various implementation and operational gaps that needed to be resolved in order to facilitate an effective transfer of the local road network to the MMDAs which include the transfer of staff between the regional offices and MMDAs, allocation of assets including vehicles, physical properties between the regional Offices and MMDAs as well as funding of road works at the regional and MMDAs levels.

The MRH, he said, had set up a committee comprising staff of MRH, DFR, DUR and LGS to resolve issues regarding the road agencies and the Local Government Service which would

clearly indicate the limits and areas of jurisdiction of the road agencies and MMDAs of the various road classes.

He emphasized the need for strong collaboration between the agencies and local government authorities in the management of the human resource especially in the areas of recruitment, training deployment of staff, staff progression and succession planning to ensure that the huge government investment into the road sector is justified.

The MP said the establishment of regional offices in the road sector is a recognition by government of the need to co-ordinate the road management efforts of the 216 Metropolitan, municipal and distract assemblies within the various regions to deliver consistent work quality through the adherence to technical specifications and urged staff in the regional offices to exhibit a higher sense of purpose and timely resolution of issues considering the numerous road management challenges that they would be faced with from the various assemblies from time to time.

The Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, John Ackom, noted decentralisation makes development projects more sustainable and cost effective with local people likely to be involved in their design, execution and monitoring.

He, therefore, appealed to all parties involved in the exercise to work hard to harmonise the operations of the regional and MMDAs road units.

From Kingsley E. Hope, Kumasi

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