Gov’t declares 2020 as ‘year of roads’

Government in its quest to address the poor road networks in major parts of the country has declared 2020, as the “year for roads”.

Delivering the 2020 Budget in Parliament on Wednesday, the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta said the government will largely focus and prioritize road projects to improve infrastructure in that sector and bring an end to the cries of Ghanaians for better roads.

Ridiculing the opposition National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) claims of massive road infrastructure in its Green Book, Ofori-Atta indicated that the governing party will revamp the road sector and pay contractors what is owed them.

Today, the cry everywhere in Ghana is about the poor state of our roads. It is an unprecedented cry and it makes you wonder where all the roads in the NDC’s Green Book are. Mr. 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. We have identified critical roads across each of the 16 regions and construction would begin on all these critical roads soon.”

“Mr. Speaker, Ghanaians want action on our roads, not words or plans or Green Book claims about what has been done. We intend to swing into action and let our work do the talking for us. Mr. 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, he added.

According to the Minister, the government as part of its new initiative to complement the traditional execution of road projects has launched the Accelerated Community Road Improvement Initiative.

Road agitations 

Prior to the presentation, Chairman of the Finance Committee in Parliament, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah asked the government to pay attention to the road in the 2020 budget.

The deplorable state of the road in parts of the country has become a challenge to many.

Recently, most residents who have been outraged by poor roads have resorted to series of protests to pile pressure on authorities to get their roads fixed.

They have been burning tyres and wielding placards with varied inscriptions to have their roads which are full of potholes and bumps fixed

Most farmers and market women have to cart their goods to consumers.

Abandoned road projects 

The country has a plethora of abandoned road projects, amid the already deteriorating ones and feeder road networks.

Some of these issues have to do with a lack of funds, like in the case of the Eastern Corridor.

Long stretches of the project have been abandoned, with contractors citing a lack of funds for their inability to continue with the work.