The urban roads director of the Sekondi /Takoradi metropolis in the Western Region, Mike Disi says that the annual budget for the department is woefully inadequate to construct any road in the metropolis.
Speaking to Kwame Malcolm, the host of Radio 360’s flagship morning show “Y3nsom”, Mike Disi revealed that the entire annual budget for 2017 was 490,000 Ghana Cedis with that of 2018, being 480,000; this he said is meager to meet the continuous demands of residents of the metropolis for the various bad roads to be fixed.
He said such annual budgets come with specific instructions on what to do with it; “… We have limited budget to do very minimal works; with a kilometre of asphalt road not less than 1.7million dollars, all we can do is to make do with assembly’s common fund or some internally generated funds from the assembly to fix some damaged slabs on main roads in the metro. The budget can only make do with very little pot-hole patching…”
He however revealed that a contract of 4.2million Ghana Cedis has been awarded for some selected roads like the Kweikuma , Adiembra ridge, Butumegyebu to Agric Diabenne roads to be reshaped and resealed.
He further added that some potholes in Airport Ridge, Lagos Town, Anaji and Apollo area are to be patched with the said 4.2 million cedi contract being done by Kingspok Construction Limited.
He revealed that most of the funds for road construction do not come to the Metro Urban Roads department. He added that hopefully one day things will normalize and improve and all they do now is to get a bird’s view of the various road defects waiting for some good fate soon to avail adequate funding for major roads construction.
Mike Disi revealed the deplorable road network from “four phone booth” area to the offices of the newly created Effia Kwesimintsim Municipal Assembly(EKMA) is being examined to ensure there are no pipelines of the Ghana Water Company Limited beneath so an asphalt overlay of about 300kilometres will be spread over to the EKMA offices. He said there is need to ensure this is done before the asphalt overlay is spread over as most of the roads that benefited from the asphalt overlay project of the previous administration has defects since it was done without the GWCL pipelines being re aligned from beneath the road to the sides. The Metro Urban Roads Engineer further revealed that strenuous efforts are being made by the metro chief executive; Anthony K.K. Sam to ensure all amounts due Asabea Construction Limited is paid for the contractor to move to site and finish work on the much talked about Fijai-Fire Service-Effia Nkwanta by pass road. He however was unable to provide any necessary details as to the coat of the contract and the duration of the said contract as due to the division of the Urban Roads department into metro and regional sections, the said road is not directly under his supervision.
It can be recalled that daily appeals throng the morning programme of Radio 360 daily as commercial drivers complain of mounting maintenance cost of their vehicles due to the bad nature of the road as some expectant mother who are being rushed to Effia Nkwanta hospital for delivery, end up delivering in the taxis. Over 3demonstrations have been staged by commercial drivers along the road on 3 different occasions this year all in a bid to ensure duty bearers see the urgency to the completion of the said road which is also referred to as an emergency as the Ghana National Fire Service have to navigate their way on the road to meet emergency distress calls anytime there is a fire outbreak in any of part of the metropolis.