Monday, August 24, 2009

34 Million Cedis For Mantianace Of Accra Roads

The Minister of Roads and Highways, Hon. Joe Gidisu has expressed worry over bad and shoddy road works in the country particularly in Accra the capital of Ghana. Honorable Gidisu challenged Engineers and other stakeholders in the construction industry to introduce more cost effective materials into our road construction.
According to the Minister it is estimated at 34 million cedis for government to repair and maintain most of the deplorable roads in accra with 3 million cedis going into concrete compacting and patching of the Tema motorway. The Minister disclosed this in Columbia when he led a Ghanaian delegation to Bogota to understudy a modern public transport system known “BRT” bus rapid transportation. He also underscored the importance for the ministry and it’s agency Department of urban roads to collaborate with the Metropolitan, Municipal and District assemblies to bring relief on our roads.“Bad roads constructed previously which needs to be maintained or repair has not only affected our road construction plan for the year but has also affected our expenditure” the minister disclosed that this has affected the budget for road construction which is almost exhausted.Meanwhile the Colombian government has expressed its readiness to assist Ghana in any form to enable it implement the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in the country.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director for International Cooperation, Mr Enrique Maruri Londono, who made the pledge said Colombia operated one of the best BRT systems in the world and was ready to share and support Ghana with the implementation of the system in the interest of South South cooperation. Mr Londono said this when the Ghanaian delegation, led by the Minister of Roads and Highways, met with him at the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Bogota ,Columbia. The delegation which includes the mayors of Accra, Tema and Kumasi, Dr Alfred Vanderpuye, Mr Robert Kempes Ofosuware and Mr Samuel Sarpong respectively and the Member of Parliament for Ketu South and Parliamentary Select Committee Member on Local Government and Transport, Mr Kwasi Zigah, are presently on a three nation study tour to observe and experience at first hand, how the BRT system works.The others members are Dr D.D. Darku, acting Director of the Department of Urban Roads, the implementing agency, Mr Godwin J. Brock, Director, Policy and Planning, Ministry of Roads and Highways, Mrs Josephine Manu, Legal Officer, Mr Kwadwo Antwi, Communications Specialist , Mr David Quist of the Ministry of Fianance and Economic Planning and two representatives of the two major transport unions in the country, Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPTU) and the Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council (GRTC).The Director of International Relations in Columbia said ,Colombia has perfected the BRT system and that had made life more meaningful to the people and also enhanced productivity because workers do not have to wait long hours in traffic before they go to work.“We both understand each other and therefore, we must do things alike rather copy blindly from other countries from the West”, he said.He said “the fact that your President sent you all the way from Ghana to Colombia to study our system is a show of commitment on the part of your government to implement the system and we are grateful for that”.He commended the democratic system in Ghana, one, he said had made Ghana the beacon of democracy on the continent and made particular reference to the 2008 elections where the ruling government won by a slim margin to assume the reins of power.Mr Gidisu on his part expressed gratitude to the Colombian government and said the selection of Colombia as part of the countries to study the system was not by default but as a result of the confidence and trust the Ghanaian government had in the BRT system in Colombia.Earlier in the day, the minister and his delegation were presented with a lecture on how governments and politicians can improve the lives of the poor with projects like housing for the poor and urban land reforms by the former mayor of Columbia Bogota, Mr Enrique Periyalosa
Source: Abeiku Aggrey Santana, Bogota, Columbia

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