2020 “Year of Roads” is for all regions, Amoako-Atta assures

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The Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwesi Amoako-Atta, says all the 16 regions in the country will benefit from the road infrastructure work to be undertaken by the New Patriotic Party government.

He said the government sees infrastructure development as the pivot around which socio-economic development revolves since 98 per cent of transportation of commuters and goods takes on road network.

Speaking at a road sector retreat on Wednesday, in Accra, the Minister announced that the government has selected three critical roads in each of the 16 regions for construction this year.

Currently, the government needs about GHC30.5 billion to pay the cost of uncompleted roads and other commitment made under the Road Infrastructure Development programme.

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Commitments

The government has so far paid over GHC5 billion as outstanding arrears to road contractors since 2017, according to Mr Amoako-Atta.

The payment was made through the Consolidated Fund and the Road Fund to contractors with interim payment certificates (IPCs) at the cut-off date of August 2019.

Some 168 contractors, who were each owed up to the tune of GHC5million, have received their payment in full, while 210 contractors owed above that amount have received 40 per cent of their monies.

In addition, the government has paid GHC482 million to contractors it owed GHC500, 000.

Also, contractors that government owed GHC10, 000 and above, totalling 43, have been paid GHC584 million, being 100 per cent payment, while those the government owed GHC500, 000 and below GHC10 million have received GHC138.1 million.

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Master plan

Delivering the keynote address at the event, Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia, announced that reconstruction of road from Blackstar Square to Nungua, known as the Beach Road, will commence in the next four weeks.

He noted that road infrastructure development is one of the major concerns for Ghanaians, as revealed in the Afrobarometer survey, and assured of government’s unflinching commitment to meeting the needs and aspirations of the citizenry.

He said it was for this reason that the government signed a Bauxite Master Agreement Plan with the Sino Hydro Group of China towards the development of the country’s infrastructure.

He explained that the $2 billion expected from the bauxite barter arrangement will be paid with funds from refined bauxite, and not necessarily allowing the Chinese to mine bauxite directly from the forest.

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Dr Bawumia therefore entreated engineers and supervisors to ensure effective monitoring of all the road contractors undertaking various road projects across the country in order to deliver quality and ensure value for money.

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