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$150m Loan For Roads Approved   
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Kwasi Amoako-Atta, Minister of Roads and Highways
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Parliament yesterday approved a loan facility of $150 million to finance the proposed Transport Sector Improvement Project (TSIP), with the Minority raising questions on consultancy fee component of the loan amounting to $ 4.5 million.

The loan will be used for road asset preservation, improved road safety and institutional strengthening as well as capacity building.

The Chairman of the Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, who presented the committee’s report, said under the road asset preservation component of the loan, the stretch from Tamale to Yendi and Tatale in the Northern Region of about 103km of paved and 67km unpaved road would be rehabilitated.

He added that about 200km of new feeder roads or farm roads would also be developed in parts of the Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.

According to the Finance Committee Chairman, the improved road safety would cover activities to be implemented by both the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).

He stated: “The DVLA will be supported to scale up the use of private garages to inspect, develop and implement integrated software for the Driver and Licensing System.”

He said the NRSC would be supported to operationalize the Road Accident Database Management System that the commission recently purchased for crash database, analysis, and reporting software using police crash reports as input.

The committee chairman also explained that the institutional strengthening would support institutional review of the agencies with the aim of restructuring the road and transport sector.

The chairman said that jobs would be created during the rehabilitation of the road network and the share of the rural population with access to an all-weather road increased.

The ranking member of the finance committee, Ato Forson, raised serious concern about the amount being pumped into consultancy work on the project, saying that it is too much and ought to be reviewed.

The First Deputy Speaker, Joseph Osei-Owusu, who also contributed to the debate on the report, said the consultancy fee was not necessary because most of these consultants who are not Ghanaians come and take the money and virtually do nothing.

He said the consultancy work does not add any value to the project work and suggested that the money be added to the main project to benefit Ghanaians since government needs more resources to fix the bad roads in the country.
Source: Daily Guide

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