Business News of 2013-12-05

Govt releases GH¢100m to pay contractors

The government has released GH¢100 million to clear arears owed contractors working on rural roads in cocoa, sheanut and coffee- growing areas.

The money, which was released between October and November this year, was to clear the arears accrued between June last year and October this year.

Briefing the Daily Graphic in Accra, the Director of Feeder Roads, Mr George Adu Afful, stated that the money was used to pay contractors working on rural roads across the country.

Ghana depends heavily on cocoa, mainly from the Western Region, Ashanti Region, Brong Ahafo Region, Eastern Region and parts of the Volta Region.

Similarly, the country also relies on sheanuts and coffee from the Northern and Upper West regions.

According to Mr Afful, the works involve the rehabilitation, upgrading, and maintenance of roads vital for the smooth haulage of the cocoa, coffee, and sheanuts.

He explained that the projects were being undertaken in phases under which 658km of roads were programmed for rehabilitation under phase one but out of which 440km had so far been completed.

A total of 2250 km were, however, programmed for phase two, which Mr Afful said were at various stages of completion.

Road network condition

The rural roads in cocoa-growing communities have the highest road network of 42,000km across the 10 regions. Currently, about 65 per cent of the road network is in fairly good condition, while the remaining is in poor condition.

The rural roads fall under the domain of the Department of Feeder Roads, while the other agencies under the Ministry of Roads and Highways are the Ghana Highway Authority with 15,000km and the Department of Urban Roads with 1,600km.