Govt. commits $1.8b to road sector

The government has negotiated for about 1.8 billion US dollars from the government of the Peoples Republic of China, for the rehabilitation, upgrading and construction of various sections in the road sector, Mr Joe Gidisu, Minister of Roads and Highways disclosed on Thursday.

The projects include the Eastern Corridor, Kpong-Asikuma Junction-Have-Hohoe-Nkwanta-Nakpaduri-Kulungugu, Atebubu-Kwame Danso-Sene and Mpataba-Half Assini, as well as the upgrading of Tema-Afienya-Doryumu roads.

Mr Gidisu disclosed this at the opening of a two-day retreat organised by the Ministry, for its senior staff and agencies in Sunyani.

He said Cabinet had approved the construction of the projects, which would commence by the end of the third quarter of the year.

The sector minister said other road projects earmarked for construction and rehabilitation works this year, include Agona junction-Elubo, Buipe-Tamale, Fufulso-Sawla, Awoshie-Pokuase and Tarkwa-Bofosu-Ayamfuri roads.

Others are Dodi Pepesu-Nkwanta, Ayamfuri-Asawinso, Burma Camp road, Giffard road and 84 other feeder roads.

He said the projects would start by the end of the second quarter of the year, and that, more than 500 million dollars was expected to be sunk into the projects.

He expressed the optimism that the necessary activities, such as compilation and clearance of payment of compensation to project affected persons, evaluation of tenders as well as completion of contract documents would be completed in time for the projects to start.

Mr Gidisu observed that, results over the past two years showed a decline in quality of work undertaken by contractors, long delays in payment to contractors, extended completion period of contractors, as well as the growing cost of interest payment to contractors at higher level of expenditure for the works undertaken.

Mr Alex Segbefia, Deputy Chief of Staff, cautioned contractors against shoddy works, which sometimes led to road accidents.

He advised the participants, who were drawn from the Ghana Highways Authority, Department of Feeder Roads, Department of Urban Roads and the Ghana Road Fund secretariat, not to allow their political affiliations to affect their work.

Mr Segbefia noted that the “Better Ghana Agenda” of the government was on course and gave the assurance that the government would continue to initiate policies and programmes that would bring remarkable improvement in the living conditions of the people.

Source: GNA

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