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Government to continue to diversify sources of funding- Okudzeto Ablakwa

 

Ablakwa Okudjeto SamuelAccra, Jan. 5, GNA - Government on Wednesday stated that it does not rely on only one facility to pursue its overall infrastructural agenda for 2012 and beyond as portrayed by some commentators.

     “Evidence will show that government has diversified its sources of funding in an aggressive manner to help address Ghana’s infrastructural deficit going forward,” a statement issued by Deputy Minister of Information, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa in Accra stressed.

     “In the road sector alone; government was pursuing numerous projects for which we will remain accountable to the people,” he said.

     Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa enumerated some of the on-going projects and other projects ready to take off even without the $3 billion Chinese Development Bank (CDB) facility.

     Government has secured 12.9 million Euros from the Austrian Government for the rehabilitation of the Adomi Bridge, whilst engineering studies for the rehabilitation of the facility have been completed and designs are currently on-going.

     The rehabilitation works are expected to commence by June, 2012.

     The Deputy Minister said in 2011, the President directed an allocation of $100 million to quick-start the construction of some major roads in the Eastern Corridor, stating that the 45- kilometre (km) Asikuma Junction-Hohoe road section has been awarded on contract.

     “This section of the road is to be reconstructed to enhance mobility and to improve access to socio-economic facilities in the influence areas of the project. Preparatory works commenced in October, 2011 and the contractor is on site.

      Touching on the reconstruction of Dodo Pepesu-Nkwanta 46km road Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa said, evaluation of tenders, received from contractors for the project has been completed.   Government has also released funds for payment of compensation for properties and crops to be impacted by the works.

     A contractor has been procured for the project and it is expected that works would take off by February 2012.

     Currently the contract for reconstruction works on the 58 km Nkwanta-Oti-Damanko road has been awarded and the contractor is on site.

     The project is to be implemented through part of the funds released under the supplementary budget.

     The Brazilian Government has approved a loan of $250 million for reconstruction of Nkwanta-Yendi-Nakpanduri 213 km road section of the Eastern Corridor.

     The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has finalised the financial arrangements with Brazil and the necessary procurement processes are on-going for the project to take off early this year.

     Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa said measures have been initiated for the development of many strategic road links in the Western Region.

     The objective is to improve access to the Takoradi Seaport for export of primary goods to support the economy and to open up the Region for accelerated development.

     These projects are also aimed at improving mobility along the Abidjan-Accra-Lome-Lagos road corridor to facilitate trade and regional integration.

     The strategic projects being undertaken by the Ghana Highway Authority in the Region comprise reconstruction of the 25km Takoradi-Agona Junction being undertaken by the Government and Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).

     Government and DANIDA have made provision for 180 million Danish Krone for the reconstruction of the road. Currently, procurement of consulting services for detailed design and construction supervision is on-going. Works will commence in the first quarter of 2012.

    The World Bank is also funding the rehabilitation of the 110 km Agona Junction – Elubo road at the cost of $112million.

    Evaluation of tenders for rehabilitation of the road has been completed. Award of contract for commencement of the works will be made within the first quarter of the year.

    The European Union is funding the reconstruction of the 94.4 km Tarkwa-Bogoso-Ayamfuri road with 70million Euros, whilst contract for reconstruction of the Tarkwa-Ayamfuri road has been awarded and the works have commenced in earnest.

     The World Bank is sponsoring the rehabilitation of the 52.2 km Ayamfuri-Asawinso road.

     Evaluation of tenders for the rehabilitation of the road, which was reconstructed in the 1980s, has been completed and works will commence this year.

     The Netherlands is supporting Ghana with 35 million Euros for the rehabilitation of the 39 km Benchema-Adjuafua road. Engineering studies is currently in progress whilst everything is been done to fast track the early start of the project.

     Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa said development projects designed to improve access to the centre of Accra include the 4.6 km Tetteh Quarshie – Madina road being funded by the Government at the cost of S$21.7million and GH¢34.6million.

    About 3km of the on-going road works have been completed. Works currently in progress include construction of interchanges at the Legon and Atomic Junctions, together with the associated slip roads. The road works is 80 per cent complete. The outstanding works are the Legon Interchange and Atomic Junction Overpass.

     The Arab Bank for Economic Development (BADEA) in Africa is funding the 5.6 km Madina – Pantang Road. Currently, 44 per cent of the works have been completed.

     The major challenges encountered in the course of implementation of the works included the re-location of utilities and resettlement of project affected persons. These obstacles have been resolved and works are now proceeding steadily.

   Government is sponsoring the 5.7km Achimota-Ofankor road and currently, 83 per cent of the works have been completed. Works in progress include construction of carriage-way, footbridges, service lanes and overpasses. The works are envisaged to be completed by the end of 2012.

     To ensure the early completion of these roads as well as the Dansoman and Teshie roads, which are known as the “gang of six”, the President has directed the ring-fencing of resources for prompt payments for works to be done.

     The Deputy Minister said Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has collaborated with the Ministry of Roads and Highways in the rehabilitation, upgrading and maintenance of roads critical to its operations and vital for the haulage of cocoa.

     These roads are termed “Cocoa Roads” and have been expanded to deal with the full mandate of COCOBOD which includes coffee and sheanut.

    The basic criterion for the prioritisation and selection of these roads is that the facilities should be vital to the operations of COCOBOD.

    COCOBOD has made available $200 million to the Ministry of Roads and Highways for the maintenance, rehabilitation and upgrading of roads critical to their operations nationwide.

    Under this programme, it is estimated that routine maintenance will be carried out on 4,000km spot improvement and 2,000km on upgrading of 750km of feeder roads to bituminous surface.

     The regional distribution of contracts awarded are Greater Accra Region; 66km, Eastern Region; 75km, Volta Region; 71km, Central Region; 120km, Western Region; 199km, Ashanti Region; 77km, Brong Ahafo Region; 49km, Northern Region; 119km, Upper East Region; 44km and Upper West Region, 24km.

   Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa said the investment would go a long way to facilitate the efficient operations of COCOBOD in particular and generally facilitating the movement of people, goods and services.

     “The importance of employment generation under this programme cannot be over emphasised,” he said.

     He said the status of other key development projects: include the reconstruction of the 147 km Fufulso-Sawla road being funded by Africa Development Band (AfDB).

    Government has secured a grant from AfDB for implementation of the project. Compensation has been paid to affected persons. Currently, works have commenced from the Fufulso and Sawla ends of the road by two contractors who are expected to complete the project in two years.

     Government and BADEA are funding the construction of seven bridges whilst Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has provided a grant for the rehabilitation of the 60 km Assin Praso-Bekwai road.

     JICA has also provided a grant of 8.3 million Yen for the financing of the project, which is aimed at improving access between the Central and the Ashanti Regions.

     The project includes the construction of a new two lane bridge over river Pra at Assin Praso to replace the existing narrow bridge. Funds have been released for compensation payments. The project is currently on-going and progress is about 11 per cent and expected to be completed this year.

     Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa mentioned the construction of five bridges on Wa-Walewale road through an Austrian facility.

     The virgin project is expected to open up the overseas areas and reduce the travelling distance between the Upper West and the Northern Regions. Contracts for two of the five bridges to be undertaken under this project have been awarded and procurement of consulting services for supervision is almost completed. Works will commence in the first quarter of 2012.

     GH¢33.2 million was allocated to the District Capital Roads Improvement Project through the Japanese Counter-Value Fund to facelift rural district capitals.

     Sixty-Nine districts capitals in the 10 regions are currently benefiting from the programme. The project is in three phases. On the average, physical completion of the works under Phases 1; are 80 per cent, Phase 2; 65 per cent and Phase 3, 47%.

    It is expected that 143km of town roads will be surface dressed by the end of Phase 3 in 2013.

     The ACROW-Ghana bridge programme, involves a total amount of $44.7 million for 100 bridges. This consists of a loan of $37.7 million for the supply of components and a grant amount of $7.0 million for civil works.

     All the components for the 100 bridges have been supplied. Contracts for the first 42 steel bridges under Phase 1 have been awarded.

     There is also a Spanish bridge programme, which involves the construction of 52 bridges throughout the country. This involves a facility of 10million Euros under the Second Ghana-Spain Protocol.

     Components for all the 52 bridges have been supplied. The contracts for Phase 1 comprising 24 bridges have been awarded.

     Works on the expansion of the Odaw Bridge and construction of flyover bridges began in September 2010 and is about 50 per cent complete. The procurement process for the construction of the Bus Rapid Transit route is on-going. It is expected that construction will begin in the first quarter of 2012.

     The Deputy Minister said the International Development Agency is funding the Transport Sector Project, which involves works on roads in the Accra East corridor enclave specifically the Giffard and Burma Camp roads. The procurement process is on-going and works is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2012.

     Government is sponsoring the extension of the La-Teshie road. The south carriageway was completed in August 2011 and opened to traffic. Works on the north carriageway will be completed by March 2012.

     French Development Agency is funding the Kumasi Road and Urban Development project, which includes the reconstruction of the Oforikrom-Asokwa Bypass comprising an Interchange at Timber Gardens and the Lake Road, which experienced some delays in the past.

     Currently progress of work is 90 per cent and it is expected to be fully completed by March 2012.

   Government is funding the construction of Sunyani road and Komfo-Anokye Teaching Hospital road in Kumasi to Abuakwa.

     The project has suffered long delays due to irregular payment to the contractor and project affected persons.

     However works resumed in August 2011 following the release of funds and the physical works to date is 55 per cent and it is expected to be completed in December 2012.

      KreditanstaltfürWiederaufbau, a German facility is sponsoring the Poverty Focused Rural Transport Programme with 8.2 million Euros. It is part of Government’s programme to provide access to markets in the Ashanti and Brong Ahafo Regions.

     Under the programme, the Department of Feeder Roads is expected to rehabilitate 300km of feeder roads.

    The contracts awarded covering a total length of 87km include Aframso – Nkyensie; 8.3km,  EjuraNkwanta – Kabre; 7.6km,  Aframso – Kyeiase;14.1km, Bosomkyekye – Ouagadougou; 12.5km, Dome-Asasembonsa; 9.8km, Hwidiem – MakyinMabre; 10.4km, Yerepemso Junction – Yerepemso; 10.1km, and Brahoho – Dompoase,14.2km.

    Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa said the highlighted projects are in the exclusive domain of the roads sector and without other infrastructural projects scheduled for 2012 in the Energy, Transport, Works and Housing, Education, Health and Communications sectors.

    He said  Government would continue to diversify its sources of financing developmental projects including increasing domestic revenue regardless of the much anticipated and secured historic $3billion CDB facility which has its own special place in rapidly developing Ghana under the Better Ghana Agenda.

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