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Government assures good road network in the northern region


The Minister of Roads and Highway Joe Gidisu is urging motorists  in the country to contribute their quota to complement government effort in maintaining the roads by paying road tolls and levies to keep the roads in good shape.
He said government is committed to improving the road network across the country, especially in the northern region stressing that it will play its expected role in the development of the road infrastructure.
Mr. Gidisu said the burden of road maintenance is a shared responsibility between government and the people.
The road and highway minister, who was speaking at the third public forum on Road Fund in Tamale, said the cost of road construction and its subsequent regular maintenance requires huge funds which, he said, cannot be met from the countries annual budgetary provision and the support it receives from its development partners, hence the need for motorists to directly contribute to the maintenance of the roads.
Mr Gidisu who led Road Fund Board members to access road network in the region said his tour on some roads revealed that, there is virtually no inter-district roads linking the various communities and expressed the hope that with the ongoing rehabilitations projects being embarked upon by government this problem will be solved. He said the ministry is currently finalizing procurement process for construction of the Tamale-Salaga road.
The projected revenue budget for the road fund this year according to the minister is 230,000 Ghana cedis.   He said even though the revenue accrued has consistently increased, the fund has been indebted to the tune of 180.5 million from 2011 to 2012 increasing previous year’s indebtedness by 106 million Ghana cedis.
The capacity of the fund Mr. Gidisu said, can sustain only 60 percent road maintenance needs, the implication of the financing gap should be obvious for all, especially road contractors whose payment certificate for completed projects are paid from the source and assemblies. It also translates to about 40 percent of road network being left unattended to in a year.
The Chief of the Tamale traditional area, Gukpe Naa Abduali Alhassan on behalf of the Regent of Dagbon, Kampakuya-Naa Abdulai Andani urged government to speed up work on the eastern corridor road project and other major road network in the region.
Participants at the forum called on the Road Fund Board to decentralize their operations to reduce the hassle of contractors in accessing their monies.
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