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Capping of funds chokes Roads Ministry- Aduomi

Government's policy of slapping a 25% cap on statutory funds to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) is choking operations at the Ministry of Roads and Highways, a Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwabena Owusu Aduomi has lamented.
 
The deputy who described the current status of the road fund as severely distressed said after the Minister of Finance has deducted the 25% from Roads and Highways paltry allocation, virtually nothing is left to work with.

According to him, the emptiness of the road fund has left the Ministry with money to fix even potholes in the country.

Responding to several questions by Members of Parliament for government to move in to construct or rehabilitate deteriorating roads across the country, Mr Aduomi who is also MP for Ejisu Juabeng said there was not enough funds in the Road Fund.

In an interview granted to some journalists in Parliament House, the Deputy said the former Minister used the road money to secure a loan of GHc1.2 billion from the United Bank for Afrika (UBA).
The repayment of which is such that every quarter, the Ghana road fund has to pay GHc206 million.

According to him projections made by the Ministry is that for every quarter the fuel levy provides about GHc240 million to the Road fund but when an amount of GHc206 million is deducted from it to pay for the UBA loan,  then virtually nothing is left.

"So it means that less than GHc40 million every quarter that the road fund will get to finance road projects. So the predicament is that we will not get enough funds to pay for all numerous ongoing projects,” he added.

The situation has been worsened by the former government’s decision to award numerous road contracts in the last quarter of its administration.

“The GHc600 million that he [the former road minister] said was in the fund, before he left office he approved project payments of over GHc300 million,” Mr. Aduomi said.

By Christian Kpesese/ ghanamps.com

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