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Ghana: Road Users to Contribute to Road Construction
The outgoing Minister for Roads and Highways, Hon Amin Amidu Sulemani has called on major stakeholders in the road transport industry, to contribute in making the Ghana Roads Fund a best model for compatriot on the continent to emulate.
He said this when he delivered a keynote address at the Ghana road Fund forum at Wa in the Upper West Region.
The theme for the forum was "Financing road maintenance". The forum brought together major stakeholders in the road transport industry, to provide the right and appropriate environment within which ideas would be shared so as to increase revenue that comes into the Ghana Road fund. Participants described the forum as a bold step by the Road Fund Management Board to assist Government in addressing the persistent problem of inadequate financial resources to maintain the country's road asset which has grown to more than 67,000km by the end of 2013
Following cuts in government's budget allocation to roads from the early 1960's maintenance could not be sustained. The road network started to deteriorate rapidly, efforts made through the normal budget allocation failed to provide adequate funds to clear the increasing backlog of maintenance.
The government of the Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) therefore established the Road Fund in 1985 under a legislative instrument with the aim of building up a secure source of funding for road maintenance. The fund derived its revenue from a fuel levy, bridge ferry and road tolls and a vehicle inspection fee. Allocations are then made to the road sector agencies for the maintenance of roads.
Hon Amin Amidu Sulemani underscored the fact that the users of roads must have to directly or indirectly contribute to the cost of maintenance hence the burden of road maintenance must become a shared responsibility between government who builds or construct the road and the user who benefits from the access thus created.
He also stated that the total revenue generated between 2000 and 2013 by the fund is approximately GH¢ 1.21 billion. It is projected that for this year 2014, an amount of GH¢ 271 million would accrue for the fund to enable it meet part of the road maintenance budget of the sector agencies.
It was disclosed by the Roads minister that the fund carried forward an indebtedness of GH¢185 million from 2013 to 2014 which only support 40% of the road maintenance needs of the country the implication of 60% financing gap on the road maintenance works.
Revenue generation in the road sector over the years has not been able to meet the maintenance needs of the sector resulting in irregular payment for work done. It is in the light of this that the Ghana Road Fund Management Board held a public forum to chart the way forward.
Source : allafrica.com
Posted on : 30 Nov,-0001