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Opinions of Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Columnist: Karikari, Kofi

The deterioration nature of roads in Ghana’s industrial enclave.

In some of my previous articles, I made efforts to highlight on the many significant benefits and positive impact Logistics/Transportation has on the socio-economic evolution of Ghana. Regrettably, the failure on the part of both successive as well as present government to resource the Transport sector has contributed to the massive deterioration of the country’s transport infrastructure ceded by colonial regimes.

Indeed, extensive exploration within the parameters of our road transport infrastructure has conspicuously unfolded the seriousness of decrepit nature of roads; and with this, I’m alluding to Industrial territories within the jurisdiction of Ghana. Unambiguously, i am compelled to specifically zero in on Tema light and heavy industrial areas in addition to appreciable sections of North Kaneshie industrial zones as unequivocal test cases. A drive on these stretches of the road clearly demonstrates that it has never seen minutest rehabilitation since its construction in the era of Ghana’s industrial take-off.
Apparently, greater expanse of these stretches of the road is ridden with perceived ‘trenches’ juxtaposed with badly formation of interminable gradient. A classic example is this stretch linking Tema GTP round-about down to Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and beyond, as well as the entire road network linking the Tema DVLA territorial vicinities. Here, the situation has become so alarming that the roads have thoroughly metamorphosed into tracks of laterite courses, making driving too perilous. Such horrifying circumstances have virtually brought untold misery to commuters, transport owners and business concerns alike. The danger is that this unfortunate phenomenon could seriously dissipate investor confidence and is likely to have dire consequences on the sovereignty of the state.

Eccentrically, in all these inordinate length of time, one could not fathom how this negative state of affairs has seemingly become so oblivious to perhaps the sector ministry and the innumerable stakeholder entities whose operationalization is fundamentally akin to this sector.

Nonetheless, much as the government is obligated to guarantee efficient running of public goods for improved accessibility by users, the conglomerations of industries and corporate entities located within industrial hubs could make interventions through pulling of resources en bloc to absolutely reshape these roads; although the fact still remains that the buck stops with the government. The government then could redeem these companies through, perhaps, import exemptions, tax waivers, concessionary rates, rescheduling of import duty payments, etc. to support them recoup their investments. Apparently, such pro-active healthy arrangements could result in a win-win situation for both government and these enterprises.

RAMIFICATIONS OF POOR ROADS

It is significant to note that the derelict and abysmal poor nature of these roads has a lot of socio- economic ramifications. The heavy vehicular movement that characterizes industrial zones is a conspicuous manifestation that in the event of accident, human fatalities as well as total destruction of stowage in transit could not be ruled out. Distribution and supply of manufactured products could undeniably be affected as most of the goods may extremely be compromised, predominantly if the items are overly fragile.

Obviously, sensitive components of merchandise loaded on trucks for deliveries could be broken or equally disengage. As a result, the problem of Reverse logistics then sets in, which in such circumstances becomes a disincentive to business development. Besides, the much applauded conceptualization of JIT which basically ensures prompt delivery of logistics to the consignee and ultimately the consumer, appropriate, would definitely be defeated.

Consequently, much as the government continues to work assiduously to attract FDI into the country, its efforts can be a mirage if the states of these road networks are not re-engineered to be brought to tolerable international standards. Obviously, FDI could elude the country because one of the salient parameters to attract high profile investment into our sovereignty is better road accessibility.

CONCLUSION

It is incontrovertible fact that, in Ghana, every socio-politico economic activity is fuelled by better road system. There is no doubt that Roads are paramount in expediting the flow of holistic supply chain. Roads are the requisite connection between manufacturing hubs, the competitive markets and ultimate consumers; for that matter, there is no doubt that the prudent transformation of any nation is highly dependent on elaborate road network.
Ultimately, in my conviction, the propensity for the country to continue to wallow in severe privation and deprivation in this 21st century could not be discounted if sufficient funds and optimal policy direction is not directed towards resourcing the ailing transport sector.

Joe effah-nkyi, (MILT) +233 244250922

P.O BOX CE 12281, TEMA E-mail: logisticscontrolltd@yahoo.com