The Ministry of Roads and Highways has convened a consultative forum with stakeholders to discuss the potential of integrating the three existing road agencies.
Ghana’s three road agencies-the Ghana Highways Authority, the Department of Urban Roads, and the Department of Feeder Roads- operate as distinct and autonomous entities.
Mr. Kwasi Amoako-Attah, Minister of Roads and Highways, said the integration was intended to optimize operations, improve coordination, and maximize the effectiveness of investments in the road industry to cater for the requirements of both urban and rural areas.
He said the proposed initiative is also aimed at tackling the existing constraints presented by the current road sector framework.
Mr. Amoako-Atta, at the opening of the forum in Koforidua, noted that the lack of synchronization has resulted in duplicate efforts, insufficient maintenance, inconsistent standards, and project delays.
“These challenges have had an adverse effect on the quality, safety, and sustainability of the road network, thus impeding economic growth and social development,” he stated.
The forum comes in wake of the Ministry of Roads and Highways, in collaboration with the Attorney General’s Department, putting forth a draft bill for the Ghana National Roads Authority.
The bill is set to be presented to Cabinet and subsequently to Parliament for careful examination, consideration, and approval, according to the Minister.
The draft bill pertaining to the Ghana National Roads Authority has been proposed to establish the authority as a separate legal entity responsible for the planning, development, maintenance, and management of Ghana’s national road network.
The governing body of the authority will consist of a chairperson, the Director-General of the authority, and an engineer from the private sector who is a member of the association of consultants nominated by the council of that association.
One representative will be appointed from each of the ministries responsible for roads, finance, transport, the environment, and the interior.
The Ghana National Roads Authority oversees the coordination of road management in Ghana, connecting multiple districts under a unified authority.
Meanwhile, the responsibility for managing local roads falls under the authority of the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies, according to Mr. Amoako-Attah.
He said the Ghana National Roads Authority will have authority over the management of the trunk road system, arterial road system, collector road system, district, and inter-district.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Seth Kwame Acheampong, expressed his expectations regarding the ongoing reform exercise, emphasizing the need for an improved way of conducting business that would directly impact the condition of roads in local communities.
He expressed confidence in the high caliber of individuals gathered for this forum and stated that their collective efforts would lead to significant reform, creating a platform for the efficient utilization of workforce resources within the ministry.
The expectation is that this will also be evident in the different road departments within the Metropolitan, Municipal, and District Assemblies (MMDAs).
Participants urged the Minister of Roads and Highways to consider the deteriorating condition of roads in the region and prioritize reconstruction.
Representatives from various government bodies and agencies, including the Public Services Commission, Local Government Services, Ministry of Roads, and Highways, the parliamentary select committee on roads, and the Board Chair of the Ghana Highways Authority, attended the forum.
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