Has the street naming, housing addressing project failed?

One of the ways that Ghana decided to formalise its economy and to spur development was the Street Addressing System that was launched in 2013.

Under the National Urban Policy Framework and Action Plan, the then government launched the street naming project in March 2013 and directed the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to ensure that streets were named within 18 months.

Again, in November 2013 the then President John Mahama, gave an ultimatum to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief  Executives (MMDCEs) to complete the street naming and house numbering exercises in their respective areas or lose their jobs within 18 months

The directive was made at the back of delays in implementation of the exercise under the National Street Naming and Property Addressing Policy and the National Operational Guidelines on Street Naming and Property Addressing System.

The government had embarked on the street naming project mainly to resolve the challenges of orientation and navigation which has been a major hindrance to development.

Not only that, the absence of street names also posed a challenge for property tax collecting, postal services, emergency services and business. Businesses that depend on technology to transact business heavily depend on street addressing systems.

Nearly six years after the launch of the projects and with the support of the World Bank and other donor agencies, one would have thought that the project was completed and all streets in Ghana can now be identified by names.

No! That is not the case. A report released by the Urban Management Institute (UMI), a policy think tank has given a damning verdict on the project.

In simple terms it concludes that street naming project is a failure and adds that the objective has not be achieved.

Speaking at the 2nd Urban Think Tank meeting in Accra, last Wednesday, Mr Prosper Dzansi, Director of UMI, explained that the project had been characterised by problems, including choice of names for some of the streets.

We are alarmed that six years after the project was launched and an 18-month ultimatum was given, we are nowhere completing it.

The Ghanaian Times is disappointed that a project, as important as it is, has been handled in a very casual manner and allowed to fail.

We are amazed that after all the resources and efforts made, we are unable to compete the project that is expected to usher the country into the digital economy.

We think that Ghanaians need some explanation and we urge the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development as well as the MMDCEs to update the country on the project.

The completion of the project is closely tied to identification of physical structures, revenue mobilisation which would aid the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda of the government.

Somebody needs to explain to Ghanaians whether the project has failed or not?

 

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