Government has presented conflicting reports on the stages of completion of a number of road projects captured in the 2016 budget statement.
Contradictory updates on road constructions in Ghana-2016 budget
The affected road projects include the following:, Fufilso-Sawla, Tarkwa-Bogoso-Anyamfuri, Agona Junction-Elubo, Burma Camp and Giffard roads (Accra), and Sunyani road (Kumasi).
For instance, the Agona Junction-Elubo road was reported as 58 percent complete by September 2014 in the 2015 Budget, but in the 2016 Budget the project is reported as 11 percent complete by end-2014 and will be 94 percent complete by end-2015.
2016 budget focus on road constructions in 2015
The Minister of finance Seth Terkper presenting the budget in Parliament said the Ministry of Roads and Highways maintained its focus on routine and periodic maintenance activities to protect the huge investment made by Government in the provision of the road infrastructure.
In 2015, routine maintenance works were carried out on 7,228km of trunk road, 7,471km of feeder road, and 5,900km of urban road networks.
During the same period, periodic maintenance activities, comprising re-gravelling/spot improvement and resealing works were carried out on 18km,326km and 2,450km of the trunk, feeder and urban road networks, respectively.
Minor rehabilitation works covering upgrading and construction of culverts and drainage structures were also carried out on; 10km, 404km and 72km of the trunk, feeder and urban road networks, respectively.
Budget outlook for 2016
In 2016, routine maintenance activities will be undertaken on 11,199km, 22,500km and 10,200km of trunk, feeder and urban road networks, respectively.
In addition, periodic maintenance will be undertaken on 450km, 1,000km and 4,200km of trunk, feeder and urban roads, respectively. Minor rehabilitation works on 150km of trunk roads, 350km of feeder roads and 100km of urban roads will also be undertaken.
Some of the roads to be rehabilitated are:
· Sawla – Wa Road
·Kasoa By pass;
·Kpone Katamanso and Golf City Area;
·Winneba - Sankor - Akotsi; and
·Dalive - Agortaga
Additionally, constructions of the following roads in the Western region Oil Enclave are being executed to support the operations of the Gas Plant:
· Alabokazo – Ekwei - Tikobo No.1 (53km) – 77 percent complete; and
· Princess Junction – Princess Town road (18km) – 13 percent complete
In 2016, about 200km of trunk roads and 40km of urban roads will be constructed. Some of the key roads programmed for construction are:
· Nsawam – Apedwa Road;
· Kwafokrom – Apedwa;
· Enchi – Dadieso;
· Kwame Nkrumah Interchange;
· Kasoa Interchange; and
· Eastern Corridor Roads.
Civil society concerns
According to the finance ministry, the 2015 Budget like the 2016 Budget was prepared on program-basis.
But the economic research think tank Institute of fiscal studies has raised concerns that ,” despite the list of programs being implemented by the MDAs in the Budget document, non of the programs have been costed, making it difficult to establish how much it will require to implement each program.”
The executive Director of IFS Professor Newman Kusi in an interview said a fundamental requirement for program-based budgeting is that each program of a given institution has to be costed and all the programs presented to Parliament for approval.
He said this is required to enable expenditures to be linked to output and outcomes, thus facilitating monitoring, accountability, and transparency in budget execution, which is a major shortcoming in the budget preparation.
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