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$600m needed annually to undertake more road projects

Oct. 3, 2017, 4:32 p.m.

The country will require an annual investment of at least US$600 million over the next 10 years to help keep at least 70 per cent of the country’s road infrastructure in good shape, the Coordinator of the Road Fund, Mr Francis D. Ahlidza, has said.

He said the demand for road projects in the country was high but noted unfortunately that the fund did not generate enough revenue annually to be able to cater for all the needs of the various communities without road networks in the country.

Mr Ahlidza was speaking at a round-table discussion on the Petroleum Resource and Revenue Governance in Ghana, in Accra on September 28, 2017.
He said every community, district and region was asking for roads, thereby, the fund was forced to spread itself thin to ensure that more demands were met.

A Director at the Ministry of Planning, Dr Ishmael Ackah, said there has been a major challenge to the country’s inability to execute projects on time.

He tasked the metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) to work with their medium-term development plans even as the government begins the roll-up of its long-term development agenda.

“In the absence of a long-term plan, there is still a plan. Each MMDA has a medium-term plan which is only consolidated by the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) as the national medium-term plan, so even if we did not have the long-term plan it is a still a medium-term plan to work with,” he said.

Dr Ackah said oil revenues were not stable because the prices were dictated by demand and supply situations on the international market.
He noted that Saudi Arabia produced about 9.6 million barrels of oil a day, Nigeria between 1.8 million and 2.4 million barrels while Ghana does a little over 100,000 barrels.

The round-table discussion
The Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC) in collaboration with the Ghana Oil and Gas for Inclusive Growth organised the two-day (27th -28th September 2017) engagement with faith-based groups to share insights from the PIAC’s 2016 annual report, monitoring and evaluation of petroleum revenue funded projects.

The Ghana Road Fund
It was established in 1985 to provide a secure source of funding for preservation of Ghana’s road network. The fund was restructured under the Road Fund Act, Act 536, 1997.

The Act provided for the Road Fund Management Board to provide the overall direction for the fund.

As of August this year, the Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Anthony Karbo, said the ministry received GH¢1.2 billion from the Road Fund annually, whereas, the debt overhang was close to GH¢11.6 billion in commitments and all contracts put together.