Government has announced its intention to embark on a massive road construction project in 2020, describing the coming year as “The Year of Roads.”Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, told Parliament on Wednesday, November 13, 2019, as he presented the 2020 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Akufo-Addo’s administration. The announcement comes after days of violent protests in some parts of Ghana over poor road networks.
But a cursory study of the list of roads and their respective regions captured in the budget is without the Volta Region, the stronghold of opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).The region is suffering from bad road network. Notable, is the rotten portions of the Eastern Corridor Road stretching from some part of Peki through Kpeve, ‘Have’ through Hohoe to Jasikan. “Today the cry everywhere in Ghana is about the poor state of our roads. It is an unprecedented cry and it makes you wonder where all the roads in the NDC’s Green Book are,” he bemoaned. “Mr. Speaker, this is why we are going to focus more on fixing our roads across the country in 2020 and beyond. To get the road sector moving and contractors back to work, government will pay 80% of all contractors,” according to him. “Mr. Speaker, Ghanaians want action on our roads, not words or plans or Green Book claims about what has been done. We intend to swing into action and let our work do the talking for us,” he added. He said Government has identified critical roads across each of the 16 regions and construction would begin on all these critical roads soon. He added that “Cocobod has also secured funds to continue with ongoing and new cocoa roads.” According to him, work on these roads will also commence soon. “As part of our new initiative to complement the traditional execution of road projects, we have launched the Accelerated Community Road Improvement Initiative,” he said. Just this month, he said, the Ministry of Finance released funds to the 48 Engineers Regiment of the Ghana Armed Forces, who are busy working on some roads in communities in Greater Accra.The first phase of the Sinohydro arrangement, he announced, is finally taking off. “We have also been able to mobilize the financing for over 150 roads nation-wide,” he said.Political connoisseurs fault the decision of the government to completely blacklist the Volta region from the roads project.
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