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General News of Friday, 23 September 2016


NDC has neglected maintenance of our roads – NPP

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) Minority in Parliament says the noise being made by the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) with regards to road infrastructure is not a true reflection of the reality on the ground.

According to the Minority Caucus, the Mahama-led government has neglected the maintenance of road network in the country to the extent that potholes on the roads have now become death traps and “claiming the lives of motorists and pedestrians here and there”.

The group believes that the nation’s road network under President John Dramani Mahama, has suffered the “worst maintenance in the history of our country since the NDC-led administration took over in January 2009”.

“Road maintenance, like the maintenance of all other infrastructure, is important and critical for the preservation of the huge capital investment the country has, over the years, made in the road infrastructure to facilitate the growth of the various sectors of the economy and reduce poverty”.

“Maintenance of our roads, however, has since January 2009, been persistently poor, erratic, slippery gravel surfaces, soft spots and bushy roadside among others, are still predominantly on our roads. Gravel roads are left many years without grading and sectional patching to improve their surface condition. On paved roads, potholes are left many months without patching to the extent that some widen and deepen to sizes described as “manholes”.

“The neglect has been such that today the many potholes that have developed on the reinforced concrete-surfaced Accra-Tema motorway have become veritable death traps”, the group noted at a press conference in Accra on Thursday.

Ranking Member for the Committee on Roads and Highways and MP for Ejisu, Hon. Owusu Aduomi who addressed the conference on the “True state of the nation’s road network and administration” said the performance of Feeder Roads under President Mahama has been exceptionally poor.

For instance, he said at the end of December 2015, the performance of routine maintenance on feeder roads was only 40% of a planned work of 23,500km, having achieved 9,299km.

“This planned work for 2015 itself was only 55.9% of the network size of 42,045km. This means that only 40% of 55.9% which is 22% of the total feeder road network had had maintenance as at the end of December 2015”, he noted.

He added “the cause of these poor performances on our road network is the erratic and inadequate funding of maintenance works. For the almost eight years of the NDC administration, payments for routine maintenance works done have been unacceptably delayed. They have been in arrears of many months reaching nineteen months at a point. Payment for routine maintenance works during the NPP-led administration, even without increase in Roads and Bridge tolls, never exceeded three months arrears. Indeed, the NDC-led government has lost focus on maintenance of the nation’s roads”.