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Road Sector To Boost Economic Development

By ISD (Rita Enyonam Dakudzie & Sethline Frempong)

Dr Richard Anane, the Minister for Transportation has disclosed that, for Ghana to develop her transportation sector, there is the need to dualise most of the roads in the country to help boost trade, regional integration and economic development within and across the nation.

He added that special road projects aim at improving accessibility, reduction in travel time, vehicle operating cost and lesser environmental pollution are to be put in place, saying that government has estimated a total of 3,765 roads that will be tarred.

Dr Anane made this known during his turn at the meet the press series yesterday in Accra, and stressing that dualising the road sector will reduce the spate of accidents on the roads to the barest minimum as well as provide efficient and fast movement of people, goods and services.

The Minister said 'Ghana's road network has undergone massive expansion over the last few years and that has improved accessibility to many areas in the country. The economic growth of the country has also been enhanced as a result', saying that at the beginning of 2001 the road network nationwide was 38,034km and presently the total road network across the country is 64,323km respectively.

Dr Anane noted that his Ministry will toll all newly rehabilitated roads and bridges in the country to help generate adequate revenue for the maintenance of the roads, noting that presently, tolls constitute about 2% of the total annual revenue of the road fund, that he said is woefully inadequate considering the number of roads that need maintenance.

He hinted that a National Transport Policy has been put in place to serve as a guide for the socio-economic development of the country, adding the policy will serve as a guide to delivery, maintenance and administration of transport infrastructure and services in an integrated and cost effective way.

He stated that it was the aim of his ministry 'to make Ghana's road transport system the safest in Africa.'

The Minister said further that it has been observed that road accidents are rampant during election years, he therefore urged the various political parties and citizens to be careful during the political season so as to avoid unnecessary road accidents.