General News of Thursday, 14 November 2019
Former Minister for Roads and Highways, Inusah Fuseini has accused the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) of failing to take pragmatic measures to fix the poor road network in parts of the country.
Mr. Inusah Fuseini said this in response to portions of the budget statement read by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta on Wednesday which touched on the poor nature of roads in the country.
Delivering the 2020 Budget in Parliament on Wednesday, the Finance Minister said the government will largely focus and prioritize road projects to improve infrastructure in that sector and bring an end to the cries of Ghanaians for better roads.
Ridiculing the opposition National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) claims of massive road infrastructure in its Green Book, Ofori-Atta indicated that the governing party will revamp the road sector and pay contractors what is owed them.
“Today, the cry everywhere in Ghana is about the poor state of our roads. It is an unprecedented cry and it makes you wonder where all the roads in the NDC’s Green Book are. Mr. Speaker, this is why we are going to focus more on fixing our roads across the country in 2020 and beyond. To get the road sector moving and contractors back to work..” he said.
Responding to Mr. Ofori-Atta on Eyewitness News, Mr. Fuseini said there is a huge outcry for better roads because the NPP had failed to maintain the roads constructed by the previous NDC government.
“For three years, the NPP has done nothing so the roads have deteriorated so people cannot ride safely on their roads and that is why there is that huge outcry for roads to be constructed.”
He also dismissed the Minister’s suggestion that the NDC had not embarked on major road projects while in power, saying “the Minister has forgotten that the beach road has been done. The Minister has forgotten that the Chaado road has been done.”
Mr. Fuseini also expressed reservations over the government’s decision to pay 80% of road contractors.
“I was scandalized when he said that. You have contractors who have worked and presented certificates for payment. A Minister comes to stand on the floor of the house and says yes, we owe contractors but we are only going to pay 80 percent. You owe contractors, instead of paying them, you come to Parliament with effrontery and say we are paying 80 percent. What kind of rubbish is that?”
Prior to the presentation of the budget, Chairman of the Finance Committee in Parliament, Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah asked the government to pay attention to the road in the 2020 budget.
The deplorable state of the road in parts of the country has become a challenge to many.
Recently, most residents who have been outraged by poor roads have resorted to series of protests to pile pressure on authorities to get their roads fixed.
They have been burning tyres and wielding placards with varied inscriptions to have their roads which are full of potholes and bumps fixed
Most farmers and market women have to cart their goods to consumers.
Abandoned road projects
The country has a plethora of abandoned road projects, amid the already deteriorating ones and feeder road networks.
Some of these issues have to do with a lack of funds, like in the case of the Eastern Corridor.
Long stretches of the project have been abandoned, with contractors citing a lack of funds for their inability to continue with the work.