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Opinions of Thursday, 11 March 2010

Columnist: Baafi, Alex Bossman

The Entire Tema Roads in Very Deplorable State

By Alex Bossman Baafi

All the roads leading to every corner of the Harbour City is in very deplorable state and that make Tema not befitting its status as a modern Port City as it is used to be in the 1960s.

The country used to be proud of Tema as a modern harbour city because it was well planned with carefully designed communities, manufacturing and industrial concentration, a modern harbour interspersed with well thought-out roads to facilitate easy movement of vehicular traffic, people, goods and services.

With the location of many high profile companies like Tema Oil Refinery(TOR), Unilever, Ghacem, Gafco, Valco, Aluworks, Cocoa Processing company, Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority and many commercial banks, commercial and business activities were carried out within 24hours to generate more wealth and meaningful life for the city dwellers in the times past.

Though management and economic considerations had taken their toll on many of the industries leading to the demise of many of them, with others shrinking in sizes for lack of economic boom, what reduced the once cherished industrial cum harbour city to nothing today is the fact that the entire roads network in Tema is in shambles beyond comprehension. It stands to reason that our maintenance culture is nothing to write home about. So is the Blackman capable of managing his own affairs as was opined by the architect of the industrial city, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah?

What is more confusing in my opinion is that it is very complex for one to understand the critical roles of the two giant organisations of Tema Development Corporation (TDC) and the Tema Municipal Authority (TMA). It appears to me that whilst TMA is in charge milking people in the city by taxing them; TDC is the sole monopoly of the land for building houses. The road network issues fall in between the two and therefore becomes nobody’s business or responsibility. Who holds these two institutions accountable for their activities in Tema? If the TDC and TMA are wasting time engaging in duplication of functions and therefore shirking their responsibilities why not collapsing the two bodies or fusing the two together as one authority to clear doubts about who is for what in the interest of the pioneer industrial city in the country.

Tema is strategically located and its significance in terms of revenue generation for the development of this country is impeccable but that has been underestimated for far too long. A modern harbour for many countries is a gold mine and when it is carefully managed will generate more than enough revenue for national development.

What made Tema enjoyed its fame and to play its pivotal role as modern industrial and harbour city was the motorway linking it to the political and administrative capital of the country but as soon as you enter Tema the story about roads is despicable. For example the condition of the road from VALCO roundabout to TOR and its loading area where many heavy duty tankers queue for fuel is very appalling not to mention all roads leading to and around community one which happens to serve as the commercial centre of the city.

Because every modern city thrives well on good roads infrastructural network, the authorities in Tema or the government or both should pay attention to the deplorable roads in Tema to restore its glory to occupy its strategic position on the country’s developmental map. In my opinion, Tema is a gold mine and we should pay proper attention to the roads for the betterment of the country.

Email: abkbossman@yahoo.co.uk