Business News of 2013-12-03

Transport Ministry to reduce road travel time

The Ministry of Roads and Highways is to undertake routine maintenance on some trunk and feeder roads as part of efforts to improve travel time.

It is also in a bid to ease congestion on the roads, as well as reduce the frequent breakdown of vehicles as a result of the bad roads.

According to the 2014 budget statement and economic policy of the government, an amount of Gh¢779. 2 million had been aloocated to the ministry of which part would be used for the routine maintenance works.

The project will include 11,600km trunk, 16,000km feeder and 4,200km urban road networks.

Also, periodic maintenance activities will be undertaken on 892km trunk, 1,500km feeder and 1,200km urban roads.

In addition, minor rehabilitation works will be undertaken on 625km trunk, 1,425km feeder and 200km urban roads and the ministry will continue to improve road maintenance financing by implementing electronic tolling of roads to improve revenue generation into the Road Fund.

The Sector Minister, Amin Amidu Sulemana, who was speaking at a post budget analysis forum organised by the Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Institute for Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ), explained that road congestion was currently about 95 per cent coupled with its negative effects on roads and pedestrians as well.

He also said although there were many roads to ensure a shortened travel time for people, the nature of bad roads made this impossible, adding journey time was not achieved despite the availability of many road networks.

The ministry, he explained, would also install and maintain 60 traffic signals and 21 road safety hazard sites across the country to enhance road safety.

The Ministry of Roads and Highways exists to provide an integrated, efficient, cost-effective and sustainable road transport system responsive to the needs of society, supporting growth and poverty reduction and capable of establishing and maintaining Ghana as a transportation hub of West Africa.

Meanwhile, panelists at the post budget analysis forum called for a more prudent way of managing resources from the Road Fund to enable the citizens get value for money.

They described the shoddy work undertaken by some contractors in the country as unacceptable and urged the ministry to crack the whip when such defects were detected, to serve as warning to others.