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General News of Thursday, 8 August 2019


Politicians responsible for bad roads - Engineer

A former Chairman of the Road Contractors Association, has accused the government of acting to sabotage the production of quality roads in the country.

According to Joseph Ebo Hutton, the government does this by managing road contracts poorly.

Wednesday’s edition of the Super Morning Show on Joy FM where he spoke, was enmeshed with sentiments from listeners about the deplorable state of their roads.

Papa Ansah who called from Teshie Nugua Estates in Accra said, his roads are terribly bad. He complained further about the drainage construction which has been halted. He mentions again that owing to the poor state of his roads, a five-minute journey would rather take 45 minutes.

He was not alone. Kwaku from North Kaneshi complained about the Oyibi-Adentan road. He did not understand why there is a toll booth on that road despite its poor state.

Another caller also complained about the newly constructed Adentan footbridges which have no illumination for pedestrians at night. According to him after 6 pm he is not able to use that bridge as he fears criminals may attack him.

It was these concerns which ignited The Multimedia Groups crusade to get the road leading to the LEKMA hospital fixed.

The road which until the crusade, was notorious for its dusty and bumpy nature and blamed for causing miscarriages, is now being fixed.

Mr. Hutton himself an engineer blamed the poor nature of these roads on government’s underspending on roads.

He faulted the Minister of Finance for capping the expenditure on roads to 25% of the total accumulation monies channelled into the road funds.

He asserts that given the road needs of the country, that amount is inadequate.

Last year the road fund amounted to up to 1.5 billion Ghana cedis.

According to Mr. Hutton, the government released just about 800 million Ghana cedis for road works.

“The road fund is being abused, we are using the money for the wrong purpose.”

He believes that for the country to develop at the right pace, roads must not be starved of the needed funds because every part of the economy requires a good transportation system to succeed.

He also cited the government’s ambitious road agenda as part of the reasons roads are porous.

Last year, the government awarded road contracts worth 11.5 billion Ghana cedis at the time the road fund released less than a billion cedis for roads, he revealed.

The imbalance between the award of contracts and the funds released to pay for them naturally gives road engineers the opportunity to engage in poor road works.

The continual award of multiple road contracts without the commensurate financing also affects the level of supervision of those road works.

The few engineers at the Roads Ministry have limited resources to effectively supervise the many roads constantly being awarded.

“I am not blaming one government. It started in 2008,” he added.