The Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, has said steps are being taken to clear all outstanding debts owned the road fund and ensure that road works are within budget.
These moves, he said, included no award of contract or issuance of variation order without approval from the ministry and all certificates being submitted to the ministry for ongoing works should have a copy approved by the ministry.
At the inauguration of the governing board of the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), in Accra, on Tuesday, he charged members to help consolidate gains made in the last four years to support the government’s ongoing transformation agenda.
The nine-member board is chaired by I. K Mensah with members, including Dr Abass Awolu, representing the sector ministry; Christian Nti, Acting Chief Executive of GHA; Mangowa Ghanney, Ministry of Finance, and Isaac Addai , Ghana Association of Consultants.
Others are Cynthia Bediako, Ministry of Environment , Science Technology and innovation; Ernest Boateng, Private Road Transport Unions; Felix Aboagye, Road Users Association of Ghana and Adelaide Anno-Kumi, , Chief Director, Ministry for The Interior.
Mr Amoako-Atta, said as part of efforts to streamline award of contracts, the ministry was undertaking an exercise to reclassify all contractors in the country and urged contractors to take advantage of this exercise to be classified appropriately.
He said the government, recognizing the important roads to the socio-economic development of the country, was developing an extensive road network to benefit all under the government’s “Year of Roads agenda.”
Under the agenda which is targeting to complete 6000km of roads 2024 out of a total 11,000kilometres(km), the minister said it would involve the construction of about 2,167.2 km of critical roads, 4,853 km of Cocoa roads, 563 km of town roads and about 1500 km of Asphalt overlays amongst others .
Aside from the road programme which aims to improve connectivity, rural areas, Mr Amoako-Atta said, the government was embarking on a major programme for Upgrading and Reconstruction of our Highways.
He said because financing the programme required substantial resources, Public Private Partnerships was being considered as one of the preferred options for implementing projects that may qualify for such alternatives under private capital financing.
Mr Amoako-Atta urged the board and the GHA to demonstrate that the award, construction, and operation of these projects were based on a fair and transparent approach, to eliminate suspicions of all sorts.
He also encouraged the use of standard procedures and processes to streamline and expedite decision-making in a manner that is fair, transparent and competitive.
Mr Mensah said aside from the year of roads, the next level of investment was to be made to improve traffic congestion resulting from recent rapid growth of the economy through a combination of physical expansion and traffic management measures along the trunk road network.
He thanked the government for giving members the opportunity to serve, promising that they would work collectively to improve the roads subsector.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR