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).

Fufilso-Sawla road

Government  has presented  conflicting  reports  on  the  stages  of  completion  of  a number of road projects captured in the 2016 budget statement.

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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