Parliament approves $150m loan for roads

Parliament has approved a $150-million loan from the International Development Association (IDA) to finance the development of road infrastructure in the country under the Transport Sector Improvement Project (TSIP).

The TSIP seeks to improve road safety and strengthen the institutional management of the transport sector to foster regional integration.

The legislators approved the loan after the presentation of the report of the Finance Committee, which recommended the approval of the facility.

The $150-million facility has a grace period of five years, a 20-year repayment duration and a 25-year maturity period.

The maximum commitment charge is 0.5 per cent per annum, 0.75 per cent service charge per annum, 1.25 per cent interest rate and a 30.44 per cent grant element.

Reading the report of the Finance Committee, its Chairman, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah, said the TSIP was divided into three broad components and would be implemented over a six-year period.

The asset preservation component has to do with the development of road infrastructure in the Northern Region.

The stretch of road from Tamale to Yendi and Tatale, which comprises about 103 kilometres (km) of paved and 67km of unpaved road, will be rehabilitated to improve the road network in the integral part of the Central East-West Corridor.

About 200km of feeder or farm roads will also be developed in parts of the Brong Ahafo, Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions.

Dr Assibey-Yeboah said the roads would be constructed using the performance-based contracting methodology.

The second component covers activities by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to improve road safety.

He said the DVLA would be supported to scale up the use of private garages to inspect vehicles and develop and implement an integrated software for the driver and vehicle licensing system.

Again, the NRSC would upgrade its Road Accident Database Management System (RADMS) software to use smart phone applications and geographical information systems for reporting, he said.

Also, the ongoing lollipop programme would be implemented in about 500 schools to make pedestrian road crossings safer for schoolchildren, he added.

Dr Assibey-Yeboah said the third component would review the various agencies in the road sector, with the aim of restructuring the road and transport sector.

It would also involve the implementation and operationalisation of a comprehensive nationwide transport sector monitoring data management system.

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