EDITORIAL: Salvage The BRT Project
6/6/2012 7:01:48 PM -
Motorists plying the Kaneshie to the Central Business District will certainly not be happy to hear that the Bus Rapid Transit project is in danger following a directive by the World Bank that the government sets up a Project Implementation Unit (PIU) before it releases additional funds for its implementation.
Having endured the pain of spending hours on end in traffic for almost two years with, motorbikes, cars and cargo trucks, belching thick clouds of fumes from their exhaust pipes, jockey to squeeze into one lane of the annoying gridlock, motorists will be disappointed to hear that the project was even two years behind schedule.
While we appreciate the concerns of the World Bank, we hasten to ask why the Bank did not insist on the PIU before the project took off? Or is it that the Bank identified some financial manipulations or bureaucratic tendencies of the government machinery that it is making that demand?
graphic.com.gh thinks that all the knitty-gritty issues associated with the project should have been sorted out before commencement of works. But as it is now, we are at a loss as to the status of the entire project.
However, if the bank’s insistence for PIU to enable it provide 100 per cent financing for the project instead of the initial counterfunding, what is preventing the Department of Urban Roads in setting it up.
As a financier, the World Bank is interested in value for money hence its demands for a PIU to see to the project management, financial management and procurement issues.
We should certainly not expect the World Bank to pump money into such a project without expecting maximum returns from it.
graphic.com.gh does not see anything wrong with that unless there are other behind the scene demands which may not be beneficial to the country. Otherwise, we think that PIUs are essential for any magnificent projects such as the BRT, for which not only the government but also all state enterprises must seek to establish to supervise and implement projects.
But we think that motorists must be spared the agony of having to endure such torture on our roads through no fault of theirs.
That is why we believe that the DUR must take immediate steps to provide the counterfunding to see to the implementation of Lots 2 and 3 of the BRT project.
We need no reminder that an excellent road network is a key driver of development. And the long hours spent in traffic cause a lot of financial loss to the nation and families as the economic activities are seriously hampered while productivity is undermined.
graphic.com.gh believes that everyone involved in the project must immediately go back to the drawing board to salvage the project that is badly needed to ease traffic from the west of Accra to the Central Business District. We believe that even if Ghana must depend on its own resources to complete the project, it must do so.