The Director of the Department of Urban Roads, ING. James Amoo-Gottfried, has disclosed a road construction compensation debt of GHC 143,120,909.10 as of September 2023 government has to pay across the country. 

He cited that, compensations paid for impacted structures and facilities for La beach and Borteyman road projects alone amounted to Ghc56,509,022.29.

ING. Amoo-Gottfried blames local assemblies for negligence in permitting encroachment on right of ways, suggesting that MMDAs should be made to bear the cost of resettling occupants or pay compensation.

He recommends deducting these costs from MMDAs’ Common Fund or any other monies due them from the central government.

“The cost of resettling or compensation should be deducted from MMDAs share of the Common Fund or any other monies due them from the central government. We have appealed to the Ministry of Roads and Highways to consult the Ministry of Finance to prepare budgetary support to pay compensation for structures in right of ways”ING. James Amoo-Gottfried suggestedsuggested during a presentation in Koforidua, Eastern Regional Capital.

In the short term solution, the Department of Urban Roads is calling for identifying and mapping out all roads and transport routes within assemblies, documenting all structures within right of way and monitoring corridors to prevent further development and illegal encroachment.

He also suggested engagement of stakeholders including land commission, Land Use and Spatial Planning Authority,telcos on the need to protect Right of Way.

 He noted that in the medium term, the secretariat of the National Engineering coordinating team (NECT) has revived the National, Regional and MMDA Engineering Coordinating Teams to coordinate all activities in the road reservation to reduce encroachment.

ING. Amoo-Gottried also believes review of the road reservation management policy guidelines which is in its final stage will provide guidance to member agencies and the public.

In the Long term, ING James Amoo-Gottfried said effective coordination of stakeholders is key to protect right of way.

Touching on conditions of roads in the country, ING Amoo-Gottried said Ghana’s road network is estimated at 100,000Km.

National Road length as at 2022 is 94,203km.

He explained that 72% of roads in Ghana have no bitumen on them which translates to 68,000km.

47% of urban roads are good while 32% is fair but 21% poor.

ING Jame Amoo-Gottfried mentioned some challenges in road infrastructure include funding for unconstrained operations, lack of credible road development plan on road reservations, lack of enforcement on land use regulations, lack of coordination land use at all levels, and encroachment.

 Source: Ghana/ Ansah