Cabinet has given approval for the establishment of a unified roads management body to be known as Ghana National Roads Authority. It would comprise the Ghana Highway Authority, the Departments of Urban Roads and Feeder Roads.
The Authority would be responsible for planning, development, maintenance and management of roads in the country.
It would also be in charge of major roads, including highways, while metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies (MMDAs) would manage internal roads in their respective communities.
This was announced by the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, at a stakeholders’ consultative forum in Koforidua in the Eastern Region yesterday.
Participants included directors and heads of agencies of the Roads and Highways Ministry, representatives of the Local Government Services and the Civil Service.
Also present were Chairmen of the Board of the Ghana Highway Authority and the Public Services Commission and the Chairman and a Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Roads and Transport.
The minister explained that the integration of the agencies was aimed to streamline operations, enhance coordination and maximise the impact of investment in the road sector.
He said the lack of coordination and separate mandates of the agencies had led to duplicated efforts, insufficient maintenance, inconsistent standards and project delays.
Mr Amoako-Atta, also, said the current traffic volume and inadequate maintenance culture were some of the reasons behind the intended establishment of the authority.
Such challenges, he added, was having adverse effect on the quality, safety and sustainability of the road network, thus impeding economic growth and social development.
Mr Amoako-Atta, however, said protection of roads in the country should be everyone’s concern and not only the responsibility of MMDAs.
He said the Ministry, together with the Attorney-General’s Department, had also proposed a draft bill to be submitted to Cabinet and subsequently to Parliament for consideration and approval.
When approved, Mr Amoako-Atta said management of trunk roads, arterial roads, collector roads and district and inter-district roads would be placed under the jurisdiction of the National Roads Authority.
He, however, explained that internal road network within districts and municipalities would be under the care of various assemblies.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong, also said bringing departments and agencies, within the Ministry of Roads and Highways under one umbrella, would leverage the competencies of the various agencies, and create the necessary synergies to ultimately help in the operations of the Ministry.
“For us as stakeholders and end users, in any reform, our primary expectation is to have an improved way of doing business which should reflect on the condition of the roads in our communities,” he said.