Residents of Kpando Torkor in the Volta Region have embarked on a demonstration over the deplorable road network in the municipality.
The unhappy residents who appeared to have had enough of the situation took to the Kpando Torkor streets on Friday morning.
Amidst singing and drumming, the residents were seen holding placards with inscriptions such as, ‘We are also taxpayers, Enough is enough’, ‘Should we all die before the road is fixed?’, ‘Our roads are no more motorable’, ‘We are just demanding our fair share of the national cake’.
As part of the demonstration, a petition is expected to be presented to President Akufo-Addo through the Kpando Municipal Chief Executive, Geoffrey Kodzo Badasu.
Residents said that they will continue with a series of protests to voice out their concerns and get the government to address the situation.
There have been numerous protests across the country over the deplorable nature of roads in recent times.
Recently, residents of Madina led by their MP Francis-Xavier Sosu embarked on a similar exercise over the bad roads.
Meanwhile, President Nana Akufo-Addo has promised construction of more roads.
2021 will be the second year of roads – President Akufo-Addo’s promise
On January 7, 2021, the government reiterated its commitment to prioritise road construction, a pledge it first made in 2019.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo once again pledged to solve the deplorable road bedevilling the country during his swearing-in.
“Our roads are being constructed at a much faster pace than before and yes I acknowledge that there are still many more kilometres that need to be constructed.
“We defined last year as the year of roads, this year will be the second year of roads as we continue with our focus of dealing with the deficit in our roads,” he reiterated.
In November 2019, the Akufo-Addo administration assured Ghanaians of good and motorable roads come 2020, saying, the year will be christened ‘year or roads’.
It assured the populace that enough funding to commence construction and reconstruction of deplorable roads had been allocated for the project.
With that said, the government promised to get the road sector moving and pay contractors to go back to work as it assured contractors of 80% of their monies.
On July 23, 2020, Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, in his 2020 mid-year supplementary budget review presentation earmarked roads to be given attention.
Part of the list were the Pokuase Interchange under the Accra Urban Transport Project, the Tamale Interchange project and the Kumasi-Lake roads project.
Skeptics of President Akufo-Addo’s road promise
On February 25, 2020, a Deputy Director of Research for the opposition NDC, Kale Caeser made a mockery of the government’s determination to construct more roads in the country.
“You came to power three years ago but didn’t see the need to embark on remarkable road projects but now that you realise you have few months to be booted out of power, you turn around to engage in slogans and declare this year a year of roads,” the NDC official said in an interview on Power 97.9 FM.
Also commenting on the issue, Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Cassiel Ato Forson, asked Ghanaians to ignore the government’s promise of fixing all of the country’s road network.
“Their so-called new roads [declaration] is a hoax. Currently, the government collects monies from Excise for the purposes of fixing some of the roads. For the year 2020, the government has projected to rake in revenue of GHS 1.7million from taxes.
“That money is supposed to go to the road sector to fix our roads. One would have thought that once the Minister has made a bold announcement, that money must go to the road sector but you know what he did?
“He has only allocated an amount of GHC 1 billion and GHS 14 million to the Ghana road fund -taking GHS 700 million from road fund for consumption, how can he fix the roads? Within a period of four years, the government has reduced the road fund allocation,” he stressed.