I have been monitoring media reports and commentaries after the commissioning of the 307 ambulances by President Akufo-Addo. One thing is clear – the NDC looks dazed if I am not mistaking. Some of them have started making comments on social media and sometimes when you read the comments you wonder if they did so themselves.
Until the commissioning of the ambulances, I didn’t know politics could make us so unpatriotic. Suddenly, there are social media adverts sponsored against ambulances just as they did to the drones and Free SHS. Thankfully, anytime they have mounted such vicious propaganda the President and his government have remained resolute and delivered.
So far, the drones have been delivered against the propaganda of “You Can’t Do”, Free SHS has been delivered against the propaganda of “It Is Not Possible” and now One Constituency One Ambulance is delivered against the propaganda of “It Is All Hoax”.
Perhaps, we should ask the NDC to tell us any major policy initiative they announced and truly were able to deliver. Would it be One Time Premium for Health Insurance, Hope City or what?
But much as these deliverables are enough to unsettle the NDC for election 2020 there are still more coming. I am sure they have concluded the Year of Roads concept announced by the government will also not happen. Well! Yesterday I had some refreshing information on that.
To help actualize President Akufo-Addo’s vision of delivering massive roads infrastructure in the country this year under the ‘Year of Roads’ concept, the Ministry of Roads and Highways organized a retreat for all regional ministers, executives of the Ghana Chamber of Construction, road engineers and contractors, and departments and agencies under the Ministry.
As outlined by the sector Minister, Hon. Kwasi Amoako-Atta, the investment made by this government in the road sector is quite assuring. So far, the government has paid about GHc5.2 billion cedis to road contractors from 2017 to date, unprecedented in the first three years of any government in our history.
In the GHc2.2 billion Year of Roads package announced by government last year contractors who were owed by Ministry of Finance less than GHc5 million Ghana cedis totalling 168 (I.e. GoG) and submitted their Certificates by August 2019 have been paid in full (100%,) while those who were owed more than GHc5 million, totalling 210 have been paid 40% of the total amount owed.
For those who were owed directly by the Ministry of Roads and Highways under Road Fund, those government owed less than GHc500,000 totalling 4,212, an amount of GHc482 million has been used to pay all of them (i.e 100% payment). Those owed more than GHc10 million have been paid 40% with a total amount of GHc584 million, while for those owed between GHc500,000 and GHc10 million payment is ongoing for them.
In terms of projects execution, despite the difficulties, a substantial amount of road projects are being executed concurrently (simultaneously) in all the 16 regions and 260 districts in the country. The cumulative performance as at the end of 2019 shows the following:
Routine Maintenance – 34,890km
Periodic Maintenance – 1,490km
Major and Minor. – 420km
Asphaltic Overlays. – 210km
Aside these there are bridges ongoing across the country; we have interchanges such as Tema roundabout, Pokuase, Obetsebi Lamptey Circle, Tamale, all ongoing.
In addition to the many feeder, urban, highway and cocoa roads ongoing the Sinohydro and critical roads have also started. Others include the China Geo on Kumasi Sofoline interchange that will complete the stretch to Abuakwa to start soon, China Water of Kwafokrom to Apedwa back to work, procurement of contractor for the Volvo bridge ongoing, Bolga-Bawku-Polimakrom road very active, etc.
Admittedly, the roads infrastructure needs are huge and government will continue to do more for all.
And by the way, can we know the road network size constructed by the NDC from 2009 to 2016 or narrowly from 2009 to 2012?
Written by Dr Gideon Boako