Accra, Sept. 25, GNA – Mr Kwasi Amoako-Attah, the Minister of Roads and Highways, Monday said the Government would harness financial resources of the private sector under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement to accelerate infrastructure development.Currently, the country’s annual infrastructure gap stood at one billion dollars, with the road sector alone hovering around 400 million dollars.
Therefore, he said, the Government would explore private sector financial strength for infrastructure development, especially in the road sector so that it would free scarce public finances for development and maintenance purposes.
Mr Amoako-Attah said this at the Ghana Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme on the Upgrading of the Accra-Tema Motorway Initial Market Sounding, in Accra.
He said the Government had planned to re-construct the 19.5 kilometre Accra-Tema Motorway into a six-carriageway, to ease the flow of vehicular traffic and enhance the economic productivity of the nation.
The event brought together project financiers, investor analysts, construction consultants, civil engineers, legal practitioners, officials from the Ghana Highways Authority, the Ministry of Roads and Highways, the Ministry of Finance and the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund.
The programme is being organised to gauge the interest of the private sector in partnering with the Government to undertake the proposed project, determine the market appetite and preference for specific sector participation models and understand key considerations of the private sector regarding their potential involvement.
Mr Amoako-Attah said the Government considered social and environmental protection in the resettlement policy framework in the PPP arrangement and assured that, it would pay appropriate compensation package to people who would be legally affected.
‘‘We want to assure prospective investors that Government would ensure that project-affected persons are compensated and resettled when necessary to ensure that the road project doesn’t adversely impact on society,’’ he said.
He explained that the Ministry was negotiating with squatters occupying the right-of-way to vacate and cautioned that encroachers would be removed, adding; ’’We will not allow them to impede infrastructure development’’.
The Minister said the PPP arrangement would be extended to toll collection for road maintenance and the use of appropriate technology to reduce revenue leakages.
Touching on road network situation, he said, despite the Government’s massive investment in the road rehabilitation drive, there were about 72,000 kilometres of road networks that had been stagnated, with 39 per cent in good condition, 32 per cent fair and 29 per cent in poor condition over the past five years.
Mr Amoako-Attah, who is also the Member of Parliament for Atiwa West in the Eastern Region, said in the coming months his Ministry would roll out ten PPP projects, including the completion of the dualisation of the Accra-Kumasi road, the Accra-Takoradi road, the Takoradi-Agona Nkwanta-Elubo road, the Tema-Akosombo-Ho road, the Kumasi-Sunyani road, among others.
He, therefore, encouraged project financiers to dialogue with the public sector in a manner that would improve economic viability of projects and accelerate the development of the nation.
Ghana currently does not have a specific legislation governing the implementation of PPP, however, efforts are ongoing to enact a PPP Law.
The PPP Bill is currently before Parliament and the Government expects the Bill to be passed into law by the end of the year.
Notwithstanding, the absence of a specific PPP law, there have been efforts to provide for a framework for the implementation of PPP.
On June 3, 2011, a National Policy on PPP was approved by the then Cabinet, to guide the implementation of PPP in Ghana.
The purpose of the PPP arrangement is to provide clear and consistent guidance for all aspects of the PPP project development and implementation, including project identification, project preparation, procurement processes, evaluation and selection and contracting with a successful private partner.