When the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta went to parliament to present the 2020 Budget Statement, he announced that 2020 was the Year of Roads.
In fact, he added that the government had allocated enough resources to construct new roads, revamp old roads and make all major roads in districts and constituencies motorable.
This announcement came after, in 2019, the government had announced that it had signed a $2 billion deal with Chinese firm Sinohydro Corporation Limited where selected roads in constituencies were to be constructed.
In fact, it was a Barter trade between the government of Ghana and the firm where the nation will get $2 billion worth of roads while the company will also mine Ghana’s Bauxite.
Well, we are in 2021 and it appears the road deal signed between Ghana and Sinohydro Corporation Limited is yet to see the light of day. The company is yet to construct the roads they listed as far as the deal is concerned.
When President Akufo-Addo took office in 2017, he promised to grow Ghana’s economy and provide social interventions that will go a long way to position Ghana for massive transformation.
He began by rolling out several key projects his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), had listed in their manifesto: the Free SHS policy, One District One Factory, One Village One Dam, Planting For Food And Jobs, NABCO amongst others.
Although all these policies have seen several avoidable challenges, the government has said they were the reason why 2020 had to be declared as the “Year Of Roads” when the previous years had provided them with the time to roll out all the key projects.
With all that President Akufo-Addo said before he won the 2016 elections, it has come as no surprise that much priority was not placed on infrastructure in his first term…perhaps that is why our roads continue to be in the poor state.
The Tema motorway is a microcosm of the poor nature of infrastructure in Ghana and it behoves on the President to honour his promise by providing Ghanaians with motorable roads, ensures that the Sino Hydro deal materializes and the “Year Of Road” does not remain another slogan.
With the introduction of new taxes coupled with an unstable economy made worse by the Coronavirus pandemic, the provision of roads should trigger the provision of longlasting solutions to all the pressing issues Ghanaians are faced with.
The question remains: WHERE ARE THE ROADS YOU PROMISED?