Ghana Road Fund generates GH¢1.2b in ten years

Toll boothThe Ghana Road Fund has generated GH¢1.21 billion from 2000 to 2011, Mr Isaac Adjei Mensah, Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, disclosed on Thursday.

He said in spite of the financial achievement, the fund carried forward an indebtedness of GH¢210.5 million from 2012 to 2013, increasing the previous year’s indebtedness by GH¢59.60 million.

It is projected that this year, GH¢264.42 million would be accrued to the fund to enable it to meet the road maintenance budget, Mr Mensah said at a public forum on Financing Road Maintenance in Sunyani.

The Ghana Road Fund Board, under the auspices of the Ministry of Roads and Highways, organised the forum, attended by road contractors, engineers, representatives from transport organisations as well as municipal and district assemblies and the public.

Mr Mensah said the financial achievement of the fund was due to increases in road and bridge tools, as well as vehicle registration, road users and international transit fees.

The Deputy Minister, however, said the capacity of the fund could sustain only 30 percent of national road maintenance needs adding that was why the Government had been exploring other financial methods to carry out road maintenance.

These methods include long term pre-financing to carry out road maintenance as well as the Built, Operate and Transfer (BOT) and Maintain, Operate and Transfer (MOT) concepts of Public Private Partnership arrangements, Mr Mensah said.

He gave the assurance that the Government was working hard to ensure that the national network of roads of about 68,000km would be in good condition.

A good road network, he said, would promote and accelerate socio-economic development and reduce poverty.

Mr Justice Samuel Adjei, Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, said though Brong-Ahafo Region had a number of good trunk roads linking the various district capitals, many roads in the hinterland, especially in the Sene District, were deplorable.

He said this had been a source of worry to the chiefs and people of the region as farmers were unable to transport their food stuffs to the market centres.

Mr Adjei said whilst the Government made frantic efforts to solicit funds for the development of the road sector, there was the need for all and sundry to support the road fund by paying road tolls.

“Indeed our willingness to pay appropriate tolls and fees greatly enhances Government’s ability to generate enough funds for the maintenance of the bridges, roads, and drainage systems,” he said.

Professor Mohammed Salifu, a member of the Ghana Road Fund Board, and Mr Franklin Agbanator, Director of the Road Fund Secretariat, took the participants through funding road maintenance, Ghana’s road programme and the role of maintenance.

Source: GNA

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