Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has urged Ghanaians to assist government by paying their road tolls and other relevant road contributions in order to get better roads in the country.
The Minister, speaking in an interview with Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM's 'Kokrokoo', noted that as part of fixing the country, the citizens must play a pivotal role in the nation's development.
He cited some reasons why the roads are in deplorable shape as the road fund containing meagre money which has made it difficult for the government to finance the contractors to construct the roads or resume work, for those who have abandoned their projects.
He referred Ghanaians to the 2021 budget statement read by the Majority Leader and Member of Parliament for Suame, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, on behalf of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta who was months ago indisposed and received treatment in the United States.
Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu stated that, "to maintain the improvements on our roads, Government will
review existing road tolls and align them with current market rates. This will form part of the framework for promoting burden sharing as we seek to transform our road and infrastructure sector in a post-COVID era. Furthermore, in 2021, we will amend the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2018 (Act 983) that governs the setting of Rates and Tolls to accommodate an automatic annual adjustment that will be pegged to the previous year’s average annual inflation as published by the Ghana Statistical Service".
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah advised the citizenry to effectively play their role as government works assiduously to tackle the road sector challenges.
"One of the problems is that the road fund we use to pay the contractors is very small. When you take the number of roads and the amount of work that must go into it and juxtapose it with the money in the road fund, it is meagre. That is why you'll hear contractors complaining about their money not being paid or the money given them is unsatisfactory. It's not like we have so much money and somebody has intentionally refused to pay them. That's why Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, then Minister responsible for Finance, said the government's vision is to increase the road fund for us to have some huge money to pay the contractors," he stated.
It is estimated the State will need $10 billion (60 billion cedis equivalent) to fix the roads in the country.
The Minister stressed, "The government's duty is to make sure the money won't leak. The government will make sure to monitor and pay the contractors to do quality work but our responsibility is to contribute our quota."
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