Government's directive on road projects shocking – Agbodza

Member of Parliament for Adaklu and a Ranking Member of the Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament Kwame Governs Agbodza, has described as surprising and shocking the directive from the Ministry of Roads and Highways to directors of Urban Roads not to award routine or periodic contracts in the country until further notice.

He said for government to give such a directive at this time of the year is disappointing and unacceptable because periodic maintenance on our roads are just the usual things done to keep our roads motorable in the country.

Mr Agbodza said potholes and the unmotorable nature of the roads in the country are the causes fueling protests and demonstrations in the country. And especially in the rain season the perennial problems of potholes and bad roads get exacerbated, causing problems for residents across the country.

He posited that it would have been understanding to receive a directive on the construction of new roads but not periodic maintenance which is a prerequisite for keeping the roads in good shape and motorable for road users in the country.

The Adaklu lawmaker said he finds it mind boggling for government to stop contracts for the construction of roads leading to agrarian and food-producing areas of the country where majority of our foods on the market are carted from, in an interview with Komla Adom on the Mid Day news on TV3, Friday, June 25.

He was reacting on the heels of the directive from the Ministry of Roads and Highway ordering all District, Municipal and Metropolitan Chief Executives not award any contract for routine and periodic maintenance of roads across the country.

“This news that government is suspending new commitments on routine and periodic maintenance is surprising and unacceptable. First of all, we should all understand that routine and periodic maintenance are just the few things we do to keep the roads motorable from the potholes, the basic things we see people demonstrating against in the country currently. They are not even asking for the construction of new roads, these problems get exacerbated particularly in the rainy season as we are now. So it is shocking that government will give this directive at this time of the year and what will be the basis of this if it’s about awarding new contracts for the construction of new roads, we can understand but why would you give that directive if there are so many potholes leading to food growing areas where we haul foodstuffs? I’m finding it very difficult to understand” he quizzed.

He added that if it is about the lack of funds, it is a choice government decided to make not to invest in roads in the country. He pointed out that in 2020 alone road funds generated about GHS 1.8 billion.

“It was a choice government made not to invest enough in roads and I keep telling everybody, in 2020 alone road funds generated about 1.8 billion, the Finance Minister took away almost GHS 800 million from them. 800 million which could have paid contractors who have gone to the bank to borrow money to work on roads”, he charged.

By Barima Kwabena Yeboah||Ghana