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E/R Minister Underscores Importance of Good Road Networking To National Development

Eastern Regional Minister, Hon. Eric Kwakye Daffour has reaffirmed that the development of every country relies on its good road networking. According to the minister, such an attributes has a direct impact on the transportation of raw materials from rural or deprived areas of the country to feed the country’s industries.

But that is not all as good road networking facilitates the smooth movement of goods from the ports and harbors as well as the facilitation of trade and employment opportunities.

Hon. Eric Daffour made these remarks when the Ministry of Roads and Highways held a strategic management workshop at the Capital View Hotel in Koforidua. The workshop was under the theme: Preserving Asset to Facilitate Economic Growth and Job Creation.

According to him, Ghana had only 30,000 kilometers of road network by the year 2000. This figure however rose by the end of 2008 to 67,000 and further increased to 74,000 kilometers by the end of 2016.

The regional minister who lamented about the classification and quality of our roads observed that the country’s roads really need a lot of fixing.

The eastern region for instance boasts of about 60,000 kilometers of roads. Unfortunately, however, about 30% of the roads are in a deplorable state. These consist of highways, truck roads and feeder roads, a situation which entreats all stakeholders in the industry to factor in their plans how soon the roads will be fixed.

The minister further backed his call for road improvements in the region on the avalanche of government officials hailing from the eastern region. Notable names include the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo; the Minister for Roads and Highways, Hon Amoako Atta; Senior Minister, Yaw Osarfo Marfo among others who are all from the Eastern Region, arguing therefore that there is no excuse why the region’s roads should remain in bad states under the current government.

Meanwhile, Hon Amoako Atta –Minister of Roads and Highways who doubled as the Special Guest of Honor on the day disclosed that the current government had in it plans measures to improve the road industry:

“The current government has in it plans measures to improve the road industry since it remains one of the strategic sectors in Ghana‘s economy and facilitates the distribution of wealth through trade and employment opportunities,” the sector minister said.

Hon Atta added that, the workshop was also to serve the purposes of an appraisal to the industry to develop strategies that will enhance future performances.

Elaborating on the theme, Hon Atta said it reflected the relevance of economic growth and job creation to the government.

“Economic growth and job creation is relevant to the agendas of the current government to provide quality infrastructures through accelerated growth and expansion of road networks as well as preserving the investments made to the sector,” he observed.

The Road Minister also disclosed that “the condition rate of the road portfolio which is about 72,000 kilometers nationwide remain about 39% in good conditions, 32% in fair conditions whiles 29% remain in poor conditions over the past five years.”

He attributed some of the contributory factors to the situation on external sources from the ministry which includes uncontrolled expansion of road network, uncontrolled planning scheme among others.

Hon. Amoako concluded that, his Ministry and government will address the situation systematically, adding funding sources for road projects is not limited and that new projects will commence only when adequate budgets are available for such projects. He however urged contractors to put in their best to help in the development of the road industry.

Source: Joyce Bedeley/ritefmonline.org/ jbedeley9357@gmail.com

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