Revenue generation into the Road Fund has recorded the highest figure in the past six years, the Minister of Roads and Highways, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, has said.
He said while the total revenue accruing into the fund increased from GH¢191 million in 2010 to GH¢323.98 million in 2015, a total of GH¢627.4 million was generated into it between January and June this year.
Addressing the media at the Meet-the-Press series in Accra yesterday, Alhaji Fuseini attributed the significant increase to the enactment of the Energy Sector Levies Act 2016, Act 899 which resulted in the revision in the fuel levy.
He said the government had projected to generate a total amount of GH¢1.2 billion into the fund by the end of the year.
The Road Fund was established in 1997 by Act 536, to provide a secure source of funding to finance routine maintenance, periodic maintenance and rehabilitation of public roads.
This year, Parliament passed the Road Fund (Amendment) Act, Act 909 to give the fund a corporate status.
Revenue into the fund are derived from levies on petrol and diesel as determined by Cabinet with the approval of Parliament, bridge, ferry and road tolls collected by the Ghana Highway Authority, vehicle licence and inspection fees by the DVLA, international transit fees collected from foreign vehicles entering the country, and monies borrowed or raised from banks and financial institutions in consultation with the Minister of Finance.
The funds from these sources are pooled into one basket from where the government draws money, to maintain roads in the country.
Alhaji Fuseini appealed to all road users to comply with the payment of the approved tolls and levies in order to ensure that adequate revenue was generated for road maintenance.
“It must be noted that the penalty for not paying any of these instruments, especially the road, bridge, and ferry tolls is 1,000 times what road users were supposed to have paid”.
“Unannounced spot checks would be conducted with the law enforcement agencies at various toll points to ensure that the stipulated amounts are being paid by the general public,” he said.
Touching on the allocations of the fund, he said a total of GH¢1,056 billion, representing 88 per cent of the projected revenue, went to the three road agencies, that is, the Ghana Highway Authority, Department of Feeder Roads, and the Department of Urban Roads.
The agencies, he said, used the amount primarily to undertake routine and periodic maintenance works for 2016 and to settle outstanding indebtedness.
“Funds have been allocated towards toll operations, safety activities by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) and the DVLA, operations of the Secretariat and Emergency Works. The Fund also allocated GH¢1 million towards equipping the Ghana Police Service to improve road safety enforcement activities,” he said.
The minister indicated that a total of GH¢618 million had been disbursed for maintenance works and activities of the beneficiary agencies between January and June 2016.
“The fund carried an indebtedness of GH¢336.14 million into the year 2016 which were mainly outstanding payments for works executed by road contractors. The total indebtedness to mostly local contractors for work done as at June 30, 2016 is about GH¢342 million,” he said.
He noted therefore that recent increases in revenue to the fund would not yield an immediate impact on the condition not the road network as significant portion of the inflows would be used to settle debts to road contractors.
That, he said, would provide the assurance of consistency of maintenance work which would eventually lead to improved condition of the network.
By Yaw Kyei and Dinah Twumasi