The Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawamia, last Friday cut the sod for the rehabilitation of a total of 100 kilometres of road network in the Kumasi metropolis and five other municipalities in the Ashanti Region.
The project, which is estimated at 55 million Euros, is under the ‘Rehabilitation and Auxiliary Infrastructures of Kumasi Inner Ring Road and Adjacent Streets’ project and will be completed within a year.
It is being undertaken by Messrs Contracta Construction UK Ltd, the same contractor that did phase one of the Kejetia Redevelopment Project and also undertook expansion works on the Kumasi International Airport.
The metropolises and municipalities benefiting from the project are the Kumasi metropolis and the Oforikrom, Suame, Kwadaso, Asokwa and New Tafo municipalities.
The Vice-President said roads were an important and essential component in the socio-economic development of the country, which was why the government had decided to embark on massive road infrastructure improvement in the country from now till the end of next year.
“The President was not joking when he declared 2020 as the year for roads,” he said.
He said there were road works going on simultaneously in all the 16 regions and the 260 districts in the country, all geared towards improving the country’s road infrastructure.
Dr Bawumia said the need for good roads was of crucial importance to the populace and the government had decided to meet that need.
He said Kumasi, being the second largest city in the country, required a matching road network to facilitate easy movement and the transportation of goods and services.
“So far, Kumasi has benefited from 70 kilometres of asphalt roads and it is envisaged that by the close of 2020, 200 kilometres of town roads in the metropolis and its environs would have received a facelift,” he said.
Speaking at the same ceremony, the Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwesi Amoako-Attah, said the ministry was in the process of coming up with a new contract agreement that would make contractors liable for the maintenance of the roads they constructed for the rest of their life span should the roads develop defects within its first year.
That, he said, was to ensure that contractors did a good job and did not saddle the government with the obligation of maintaining the roads after they (contractors) had done shoddy works on them.
“The ministry is no longer going to tolerate shoddy work from any contractor and will make sure that the people have value for money,” he said.
Mr Amoako-Attah also warned workmen not to steal the work materials and sell them at cheap prices to community members close by.
“The ministry observed at three of its project sites that the workmen had stolen some of the work materials and sold them to people in nearby communities at rates lower than the market price,” he said.
He said that affected the quality of projects, since the contractors were made to work with fewer materials.
He said if the pilfering of materials was allowed to continue, the situation would only be made worse for the public, who are the end users of the enterprise.