The Road Fund provided GH¢312 million representing 97 per cent of projected revenue to the three road agencies to primarily undertake routine and periodic maintenance works for 2015.
The amount, though less than 50 per cent of total estimated amount for road maintenance programme for the year, it is a GH¢42.28 million improvement over the amount allocated for the year 2014.
Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister of Roads and Highways, speaking at his turn during the meet-the-press series in Accra, said the total amount estimated by the Road Agencies for road maintenance works in 2015 was GH¢611 and the Fund’s allocation left a significant maintenance backlog.
He said a total of GH¢240.81 million has been disbursed for road maintenance works and activities of the beneficiary agencies between January and September 2015, while an amount of GH¢10 million has been allocated towards safety activities by National Road Safety Commission and Drivers Vehicle and licensing Authority.
He announced that the Fund carried an indebtedness of GH¢251 million into 2015 which were mainly outstanding payments for works executed by road contractors.
He said indebtedness to mostly local contractors for work done as at September 30, is about GH¢296 million.
Alhaji Fuseini said the country’s road network is continuously expanding through the creation of new districts and municipalities, which hitherto did not have their road networks on the national inventory.
“The recorded network size has nearly doubled over the past 10 years as follows: 3700 km in 2000, 67,291km in 2008, 67,450km in 2010 and 71,063km currently.
“This rapid expansion of about six per cent per annum that has resulted from more communities in the rural areas being connected to the feeder road network, missing links being joined to the trunk road network and roads in newly declared municipal and metropolitan areas being added to the urban road network, have required even more resources for maintenance,” he added.
He therefore expressed the need to increase revenues into the Road Fund to cover the maintenance of the network.
The Minister said many road projects across the length and breadth of the country is ample evidence that significant strides have been made in delivery of road infrastructure.
“Several road networks which have remained poor for many years have finally been upgraded to facilitate socio-economic development. We however acknowledge that there is still a lot of work to be done and more effort is required to reach the levels that we set ourselves,” he said.
Alhaji Fuseini therefore urged the public to support and cooperate with government to ensure the realisation of government’s prime objective of making road transportation efficient, accessible, reliable and affordable to all.