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Road Fund Makes More Money…As Roads Get Worse   
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Revenue generated by the Ghana Road Fund for the second quarter of the year exceeded the budgeted target by 2.8 percent, with a total collection of GH˘51.2million.

Fuel levy was the main source of revenue, contributing 71.63 percent. It accounted for GH˘36.7 million. The remaining 28.37 percent was generated by the other revenue-generating instruments road-use fees; vehicle registration fees; road, bridge and ferry tolls; and international transit fees.

Despite the surplus, it is unclear the extent to which collections are applied to improve the country’s roads, most of which continue to suffer poor maintenance and experience deterioration.

Last year, road-tolls and levies were increased several-fold to provide improved maintenance but evidence of this is yet to be seen. The main motorways where tolls are collected have seen little improvement, and several township roads are in such a bad state they have become impassable.

According to the fund’s statistics, fuel-lifting experienced an increase during the period under review, and this increase in lifting reflected in the revenues generated. The second-quarter revenue from fuel increased by about 4.63% compared to the first-quarter, which was GH˘35.0 million.

There were decreases in road-use fees and vehicle registration fees by 10.53% and 21.94% respectively, compared to the first-quarter of 2011. The decrease has been attributed to a decrease in activity of the Drivers’ Vehicle and Licencing Authority (DVLA) in the second-quarter of 2011.

The revenue realised from road and bridge tolls increased by 3.17% and 6.05% respectively. International transit fees and ferry tolls also experienced an increase of 7.01% and 16.14% respectively compared to the first quarter. The increase in road and bridge tolls may be attributed to the increase in vehicular population, the report noted.

The report indicated that during the reporting period, it was anticipated that 617.76 million litres of fuel would be lifted. It turned out that fuel lifting for the period was 611.08 million litres, indicating an unfavourable variance of 1.1%.

The road-use fees, vehicle registration fees, road tolls, bridge tolls, ferry tolls and international transit fee were up on the budget by 16.5%, 48.4%, 6.7%, 9.1%, 3.19% and 41.4% respectively. Overall collection was up on the budget by 2.8%.

The fund’s budget for the year is GH˘195,021,600, out of which GH˘81,078,011.50 has been allocated for the repayment of SSNIT -- leaving GH˘113,943,588.50 for operations of the road agencies.

The Fund disbursed GH˘52.0million during the period under review to the various road agencies. In addition, a total of GH˘10.3million was paid to Social Security and National Insurance (SSNIT) for the principal and interest on a loan contracted on the Fund’s behalf by government. This brings total disbursement for the period to GH˘62.4 million.

Source: B&FT

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