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20.02.2009 General News

Government pledges more attention to local road contractors


Government on Friday reiterated its commitment to develop the capacity of local road contractors to ensure that they competed favourably with international firms.

President John Evans Atta Mills, gave the assurance in Accra and said Government would also insist that a portion of the road construction industry went to local contractors.

"I wish to assure you of Government's commitment to support the local construction industry on its promise of improving the country's road network," President Mills, said when he launched a programme to build the capacity of local road, building and waste contractors.

The capacity building programme is an effort being undertaken by J A Plant Pool Ghana Limited, supplier of heavy duty and earth moving equipment, in collaboration with the Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Roads and Highways, some banking institutions and a supplier of heavy duty equipment in China.

The programme aims at helping local contractors to bid for and undertake major contracts which, over the years had been won by foreign contractors, to compete effectively with foreign contractors on the basis of effective and efficient performance of equipment, providing economic sufficiency and improve the profitability and cash flow of local contractors.

President Mills said the importance of the road network in its carriage of more than 90 per cent of the nation's passenger and freight underscored the justification of the state's investment in the provision of transport services and road infrastructure.

He said Government would continue with the programme of urban road rehabilitation and maintenance as part of the urban planning and development strategy and major interventions would be made in the area of feeder roads with a view to making them all-weather roads.

The President said it was the vision and objective of Government to open up the country, and gave an assurance of Government's commitment to feature prominently the local construction industry to deliver on its promise of improving on the road network.

"Ghana cannot be said to be prospering if Ghanaians are not at the forefront of economic emancipation," President Mills said, and urged contractors to pay attention to quality and safety to prevent eventual increased cost and loss of lives and property due to shoddy work.

He announced that, there were plans to upgrade the Central Spine, otherwise called the Central Corridor of the nation's road network, and construct the Eastern and Western Corridors to link southern Ghana to the Northern part of the country.

The Central Spine consists of the existing Kumasi-Techiman-Tamale- Bolgatanga-Paga road.

The Eastern Corridor consists of the Tema-Asikuma-Ho-Hohoe-Jasika-Yendi- Nalerigu-Kulungugu road.

The Western Corridor consists of the Elubo-Asemkrom-Enchi-Goaso-Sunyani- Bamboi-Bole-Wa-Hamile road.

The President also announced that Government was committed to reconstruct the East-West corridors which traverse the Upper East, Northern and Upper West Region.

He decried the filth that had engulfed parts of the nation and urged Ghanaians to take hold of sanitation to protect the health and wealth of the nation.

Mr Isaac Krampah, General Manager of J A Plant Pool Ghana Limited said the company had concluded a Memoradum of Understanding with its Chinese partners to start a local assembly plant in Ghana.

The President later cut the sod to inaugurate some heavy duty equipment at the Company site, which is the former Plant Pool site on the 37-Achimota Road in Accra.