Government declares 2020 'Year of Roads'

File: A section of the Volta Roads[/caption] Government has announced it will from next year embark on construction of massive road infrastructure across the country. Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said Wednesday that the Akufo-Addo government has voted money for construction of major roads in all the 16 regions and  fixing of others which are in deplorable state. Deplorable state of some major roads across the country have recently triggered protests from residents in those areas, particularly in the Volta, Western and Ashanti regions, with some vowing not to vote in next year’s election. Some roads which were under construction have been abandoned for the past three years due to government’s inability to release funds to contractors on those road projects. Following agitation from road contractors for government to pay monies owed them and protests from Ghanaians on bad roads, government in late October announced it has released 2.2 billion cedis to defray part of arrears owed contractors. ¢2.2b released Out of the total amount of 2.2 billion cedis, government said 1 billion cedis will be paid to contractors funded through the consolidated fund while 1.2 billion will be paid to contractors funded from the Ghana Road Fund. Government said it has since January 2017 to August 2019 paid a total of 1.7 billion cedis to road contractors. ‘Year of Roads’ Presenting the 2020 Budget Statement in parliament Wednesday, Mr Ofori-Atta said government will pay 80 per cent of monies owed contractors in a bid to get them to move back to site. “Speaker, this is why we are going to focus more on fixing our roads across the country in 2020 and beyond. To get the road sector moving and contractors back to work, government will pay 80% of all contractors,” he stated. He said some critical roads have been identified in each of the 16 regions and construction would begin on all these critical roads soon. Also, he said the Ghana Cocoa Board has secured funds to continue with ongoing and new cocoa roads, indicating that those roads will see work on them in 2020. Under the Accelerated Community Road Improvement Initiative which was launched a month ago, he said some roads within the Greater Accra Region have seen a facelift. The first phase of the Sinohydro arrangement is also set to take off, he stated. “Speaker, with this large number of roads to be constructed, the year 2020 can aptly be described as ‘The Year of Roads’ along with a focus on all our flagship programmes,” Mr Ofor-Atta declared said.

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By Irene Amesimeku|3news.com|Ghana]]>