Let’s prioritise digital systems to deliver road infrastructure – Chief of Staff

Business Finance

Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, Chief of Staff, has urged the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) and other road agencies to embrace digital systems in the delivery of road infrastructure.

‘As we look into the future, its incumbent we move away from the manual and mechanical way of doing things and put in place digital systems that bring in its wake value for money and efficiency in the delivery of our road infrastructure,’ she said.

She gave the advice on Monday during the launch of the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the GHA, in Accra.

The three-month long celebration is themed: ‘Ghana Highway Authority @50 – Development and Maintenance of Quality Highways: Retrospect and Prospect.’

The Chief of Staff said the GHA had been the cornerstone of Ghana’s progress, transforming her landscape through the development and maintenance of a robust road network.

She said the early years of the GHA were fraught with challenges such as limited resources, difficult terrains, and the daunting task of linking diverse regions.

However, with determination, innovation, and a firm commitment to the nation’s development, the GHA succeeded in creating a foundation that supported Ghana’s growth for generations to come.

‘Some of the most notable accomplishments by the GHA over five decades now include the completion of our first national highway in the sixties, the Accra -Tema Motorway, the George Walker Bush Highway, Damanko-Gushegu section of the Eastern Corridor, Achimota Ofankor Road, Tetteh Quarshie-Peduase-Mamfe, Ejisu-Kumasi, the several bridges and interchanges that span the length and breadth of our dear nation,’ she said.

She said those engineering feats had been instrumental in boosting the economy, improving road safety and enhancing the overall quality of life.

The Chief of Staff said the Parliament on July 4, 2024, passed the Bill establishing the National Roads Authority to bring the GHA, the Department of Feeder Roads and the Department of Urban Roads together.

She said it would streamline operations, improve coordinat
ion, and ensure a more unified approach to road development and maintenance across Ghana.

Madam Osei-Opare praised the staff and leaders of GHA for their dedication and invaluable contributions.

‘You have built a legacy of which we can all be proud of. Together, let us embark on the next 50 years with renewed energy, vision, and dedication. Let us continue to pave the way for a prosperous Ghana where our highways symbolise our progress and drive our future development.’

Mr Francis Asenso-Boakye, Minister of Roads and Highways said GHA’s Golden Jubilee reflected their collective dedication, hard work, and commitment to advancing Ghana’s road and highway sector.

He said in response to road challenges, his outfit had adopted a strategy to prioritise road maintenance in critical areas, including pothole patching on major trunk roads and in urban areas, as well as spot improvements and reshaping of feeder roads.

The Minister said the Ministry had rolled out a new policy to earmark about 60 per cent of their a
nnual maintenance budget to support the initiative.

He said the Ministry was also setting up a Maintenance Call Centre, with a Maintenance App, as part of an enhanced road maintenance programme designed to address public concerns on road defects swiftly and efficiently through a participatory approach.

‘This Call Centre and the App will allow the public to report potholes and other road defects by submitting photos of road defects from its geographical locations, in real time. The Ministry will then address these concerns as quickly as possible. This innovative solution leverages the digital revolution to enhance the road sector’s responsiveness and effectiveness.’

Mr Collins B. Donkor, Chief Executive, GHA, said the Authority must harness cutting-edge technologies and sustainable practices to ensure the roads not only met current needs but also preserved resources for future generations.

He said such commitment called for robust investment in the human capital, providing continuous training, competitive
conditions of service, and modern tools to empower the workforce.

Mr Donkor urged stakeholders to leverage partnerships with research institutions to adopt locally available innovative materials like calcined clay cement, polymer-modified bitumen and limestone to enhance road durability while reducing costs.

He said cooperation with law enforcement agencies and community vigilance would also safeguard Ghana’s road infrastructure from vandalism and misuse.

The Chief Executive called for a national dialogue on sustainable funding models, including the reintroduction of modern road and bridge tolls to address the fiscal challenges of road maintenance.

He said such measures would bolster their capacity to maintain and upgrade the roads systematically, ensuring that they remained safe and reliable for all users.

Source: Ghana News Agency