The Ministry of Finance has released GH¢800 million for the payment of outstanding arrears to road contractors.
The Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, who disclosed this at the inauguration of the Ghana Road Fund Management Board, indicated that substantial payments had already been advanced to road contractors in the country.
The board, chaired by Deputy Majority Leader Alexander, Afenyo-Markin, has 13 members with representations from both public and private institutions.
Other members are Ing. Godfred Boateng (President’s nominee), Azara Abukari-Haroun (Minister’s nominee), Prince Benjamin Aboagye (Minister’s nominee), Kwasi Kwaning-Bosompem (Controller and Accountant General Department) and Yvonne Quansah (Finance Ministry).
The rest are Anthony Selom Dzadzra (Energy Ministry), Frank Raji (Local Government Ministry), Nana Osei Bonsu (Private Enterprise Federation), John Ashford Afful Jnr (Road Contractors Association), Lemuel Quarshie Martey (Ghana National Association of Farmers & Fishermen), Alhaji Abdulai Abubakari (Ghana Road Transport Coordinating Council) and Ing. John Kwasi Danso (Ghana Institution of Engineers).
Mr. Amoako-Attah said the government made the payments through the Road Fund about one-and-half months ago, adding that the GH¢800 million, which is from the Consolidated Fund, was waiting for the Ghana Road Fund Management Board to be put in place first.
“The documentation to that effect is ready to be forwarded to the Finance Ministry, and the Finance Minister has made that money available. We were waiting for the inauguration of this board. That is why in less than 48 hours this board is being inaugurated,” he noted.
Mr. Amoako-Atta said the move underscored the seriousness President Akufo-Addo attaches to the process of ensuring that contractors get paid.
He revealed that the Road Fund still had some amount of money in its coffers, and praised the Ministry of Finance and the Controller and Accountant General for the timely releases into the fund since January without default.
The minister said on the average, the Road Fund gets a total of GH¢70.7 million into the fund, and added that “on quarterly basis we service the outstanding debt to the consortium of the banks.”
Chairman of the Board, Mr. Afenyo-Markin, on behalf of the Board, expressed profound appreciation to President Akufo-Addo for the honour of appointing them to serve on the Road Fund Management Board.
According to him, ensuring road user safety will not come cheap as it will require more significant and strategic investments to construct modern roads and highway systems.
“The problem, however, is that our national revenue sources are facing immense challenges. We live in an age of a raging global pandemic, COVID-19, which has stifled global economic growth and sent the world economy into a new recession,” he added.