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Road Fund makes GH¢828.5m by 2009, minister asks for increase

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Total contributions into the Road Fund, from 2001, when it came into effect, to the end of 2009 stood at GH¢828.5 million, Dr Nii Odotei-Kuma, Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, has said.

Though contributions into the Fund have been increasing over the years, he said, its current capacity can sustain only 60 per cent of road maintenance works.

Dr Odotei-Kuma has, consequently, urged Ghanaians to embrace the critical steps needed to generate more revenue to finance road maintenance works.

Speaking at a public forum, on the theme: “Financing Road Maintenance in Kumasi,” on Wednesday, he explained that the government has been searching for loans to finance the rest of the projects.

The Road Fund was established by an Act of Parliament in 1997. It derives its revenue from fuel levy, vehicle licensing, road use fees, road, bridge and ferry tolls as well as international transit fee for foreign vehicles entering Ghana.

Dr Odotei-Kuma said in view of the current low capacity, the government is exploring other financial measures to promote long term sustainable maintenance works.

Among the measures, he explained are the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) as well as Maintenance and Transfer Systems to attract the private sector into road maintenance.

Dr Odotei-Kuma, therefore, called on the public to cooperate and support the Road Fund Board as it begins to collect revenue to keep the roads in good shape.

Mr Kofi Opoku Manu, Ashanti Regional Minister, said the present conditions of some roads in the country make it difficult for the smooth transportation of goods and services.

Professor Mohammed Salifu, a member of the Road Fund Management Board, suggested a review of the fuel levy, which he said, contributes about 90 per cent into the Fund.

Mr Joe Mintah, a member of the Association of Road Contractors, complained about the difficulty in accessing credit for road construction and maintenance.

Mr Mintah thus suggested the establishment of a bank for infrastructural development to help provide ready financial support to road contractors to enable them to complete projects on schedule.

Source: GNA

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