Private sector will lead road construction under my Presidency – Alan K

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Presidential Candidate of Movement for Change Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen, envisions an ambitious development paradigm where the private sector will be incentivised to fund road infrastructure.

He is convinced instances where the government contracts huge loans, with its attendant conditions and interests, to fund road projects have left it broke, will become unsustainable and must give way to innovative means of funding.

Mr. Kyerematen’s proposal will be the panacea to the country’s deplorable road infrastructure, particularly that of the Western Region.

Arguably, the Western Region has been a semblance of a quarry pit, providing resources without commensurate compensation.

Visitors are left awed at the shameful nature of the roads it has, a contrast to stories of its significant contribution to the country and Mr Kyerematen “feels sorry for the region because the roads are deplorable”.

Addressing journalists after a successful campaign tour of the Western Region, Mr Kyerematen asked for a chance to change the road development narrative.

“I’ve made a policy commitment that under an Alan Presidency, financing road projects will not be done with government budgetary resources. I will create an arrangement where the private sector is enabled and supported with incentives to raise the finances to fund road projects.

“The government does not need to borrow money to fund road projects. With the right incentives private investors, both local and foreign, will be drawn to take on such roles.”

For example, he explained, “This means we have to toll all our major roads. Government resources will then only be restricted to town roads…And it’s not just for roads but all other public infrastructure. If you take the Tema and to some extent the Takoradi Ports, it is a public-private investment. If you take some of the world’s most developed air and sea ports are financed by the private sector, so why not Ghana…”

Instances abound where private entities like Goldfields Ghana and Ibistek Ghana have taken on road projects in the Western Region, and Mr Kyerematen insisted that “I have the right team to make sure arrangements become a common feature when it comes to road infrastructure, most especially those that lead to productive sectors.”

‘Galamsey’

The illegal mining scourge continues unabated in the Region despite renewed efforts to tame it.

While unsubstantiated claims of the involvement of the political elite fester, large tracts of arable lands, pristine forest reserves, some with endangered species and water bodies feeding production dams of the Ghana Water Company Limited are being destroyed with careless abandon each day.

Death of colleagues, destruction of mining equipment, military and police swoops, jail time and deportation appear to embolden scores of unpatriotic Ghanaians and their collaborators to continue with the illegality.

“We need to appreciate the push and pull factors to enable us to draw decisive and lasting responses to the menace. It is an oversimplification to wish away how important it is to involve the small-scale miners and the galamseyers in the drive for a solution,” Mr Kyeremanten argued.

“When you go to mining areas, just like fishing or farming areas, that singular economic activity is their heartbeat, and residents cling to it with their lives. So, the government has to find a new business model which will, create an arrangement where these actors become owners of companies in these mining areas. Of course, this will be after they have satisfied all the necessary rules of engagement, especially on environmental stewardship.

“Under my government, we will do just that. We will organise and mobilise the youth to support them to establish legal entities, licence them, and offer them genuine support to buy the right kind of machinery that will enable them to mine according to international best practices.”