‘Empty’ Road Fund coffers not an excuse – NDC MP

A Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways, Isaac Agyei Mensah, has said that the Akufo-Addo government has no excuse not to improve road infrastructure in the country.

According to him, despite the financial difficulties the previous government under John Mahama faced, it found ingenious ways of raising funds to undertake massive road infrastructure projects.

The Deputy Minister of Roads under the Akufo-Addo government, Kwabena Owusu Aduom, last week revealed that, money in the country’s Road Fund account was not enough and cannot cater for ongoing projects.

He told Citi News that the Ghana Road Fund was depleted such that it will take some 10 years to pay for already awarded contracts.

But reacting to the claims on Eyewitness News on Tuesday, the former Deputy Minister said the “excuses” of the new administration were “too much.”

The Roads and Highway Ministry some years ago secured a loan of GHs1.2 billion from UBA, and is supposed to pay the bank GHs206 million every quarter.

But according to the new government, its balance of GH¢240 million will mainly be used to pay for the UBA loan with just about GHs40 million left for road projects.

Isaac Agyei Mensah however said despite the loan, the NDC government left about GHs200 million in the Road Fund account which was a positive indication of its effort to undertake road projects despite the debt.

“We took the loan of GHs1.2 billion. The loan was taken for the numerous road deficits we had and it is clear for everybody to see. The fact that the road fund hasn’t got enough money does not necessarily mean an alternative action should not be taken to move on…As we left office, by May we had about GHs200 million left in the kitty,” he said.

He added that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government under John Kuffuor also left a debt of about GHs300 million as a result of a loan it contracted from SSNIT.

“There was a loan that was taken from SSNIT. We were owing SSNIT about GHs350 million when we took over from the NPP government. That money was there, we needed to pay it and there was also the backlog of arrears with contractors. The loan was taken from UBA and we paid the SSNIT loan and the arrears we had with contractors,” he added.

By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana

Published on 5 July 2017 | 9:00 am at Source