General News of Friday, 14 March 2014
Government says tolls collected from users of the Accra-Tema motorway cannot fund the expansion or rehabilitation of the 19 Km road.
According to the Roads and Highways Minister, Alhaji Amidu Sulemana, the revenue generated from the tolls will not be enough to rehabilitate the road.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, the Minister said even if the tolls are increased, the money generated cannot be used to fix the motorway. ”The tolls cannot rehabilitate the motorway; we are talking about money; we are not talking about the GHC1 that we take…” he said.
He further stated that the tolls collected is woefully inadequate for the rehabilitation of the motorway. ”…Even the toll we collect cannot fix the railings on the bridges on the motorway.”
Alhaji Sulemana stated that estimates as at 2010 revealed that you will need to charge a saloon car GHC1.50 as a toll ”in terms of maintenance or rehabilitation cost”.
The 19-kilometre highway that links Tema to Accra, has not seen any major renovation works in the last decade.
He said the tolls collected in the country only contributes about 17 percent of the road fund. ”The road funds that we use as part of maintenance, all the tolls in the country just contribute about 17 percent of the road fund revenue,” he said.
Mr. Sulemana also revealed that Ghana’s poor maintenance culture is to blame for the bad state of the motorway. He said the Ministry has no maintenance schedule due to lack of funds. ”As a result of luck of resources, the maintenance that we should be doing, we are not doing it that way.”
He said his Ministry was not provided any funding for rehabilitation works on the highway this year.
Repair work on a huge pothole on a bridge on the Accra-Tema Motorway is causing heavy vehicular traffic on the road.
The situation has prompted the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) to close part of the bridge to traffic from Tema to Accra.
As an interim a diversion has been created near the bridge, which is close to the Old Abattoir.