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25.03.2004 General News

Donors conference on the road sector devt programme ends

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Busua (W/R) March.25 -GNA -The Government has accepted in principle the review of the Road Fund Law to ensure efficient management of the fund and sustainable management of roads.

Dr Richard Anane, Minister of Roads and Transport, announced this when closing a three-day 2004 donors conference on the road sector improvement programme at Busua near Takoradi on Thursday. The conference was under the theme: "Transport and it impact on poverty reduction".

Dr Anane said the Fund should, in the very near future be adequate for the sustainable and regular maintenance of roads in the country and that this requires adequate and regular financial inflows and more importantly, the effective application of these resources according to a planned and realistic maintenance regime.

He said the one percent increase in the fuel levy for the year 2004 has not been effected due to cabinet's late approval of the policy paper on the levy, which is the major source of revenue to the road fund.

Dr Anane assured donors of the road sector that seven weighbridges would be made operational by the end of the year in addition to five others already in existence in a bid to control axle load.

Dr. Anane said a top priority of his Ministry and the Government is to implement a recommendation of the conference to install permanent weighbridges at the Tema Port and Takoradi Port.

He said, in this direction, the ministry would immediately hold discussions with the relevant sectors to ensure the installation programme at the Tema Port is accelerated.

Dr Anane said the management of these weighbridges would be outsourced to the private sector through competitive bidding and that the Ghana Highway Authority would now monitor its management to ensure that the contractors operate within the defined terms of the management contract.

He said his Ministry, with the support of its development partners is also undertaking a study that would assist it in the development of a National Transport Policy document.

Dr Anane said the Ministry of Harbours and Railways is also preparing to concession the railways systems to ensure efficient public sector participation so as to complement road transit.

He said: "these studies, when completed will guide the Ministry to shift focus and re-direct the Government to develop a comprehensive national transport sector strategy to ensure a sustained and a coordinated agenda in our collective quest to address the transportation needs of the country".

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