Mr Emmanuel Nii Klemesu Ashong, former Director of the Department of Feeder Roads (DFR), has said the Department is playing a critical role in harnessing our potentials to attain the Ghana beyond Aid goal.
He said their efforts could contribute directly and indirectly to the improvement in education, tourism, health and human livelihood- and these are the prerequisites for any self-reliant nation.
Mr Ashong said this, however, calls for the DFR to do things differently in the management of the feeder roads- from contract awarding, procurement, issuing of certificates, maintenance of feeder roads to ensure value for money and attract other stakeholders to partner them for funding.
Speaking at an annual management seminar held under the theme: “Road Asset Preservation and Improvement, DFRs Contribution towards Ghana Beyond AID”, Mr Ashong, said the DFR must maintain its road assets through routine maintenance to ensure that its 42,000 km network was maintained to serve its purpose.
He said the Ghana beyond Aid also means there is the need to improve domestic revenue mobilization efforts and the DFR as a stakeholder has a major role to play.
Mr Bernard Badu, the Director of the DFR, said millions of cedis have been spent on maintenance, yet there are challenges and called on all the regional directors of the department to give realistic statistics on the state of Ghana’s feeder roads.
He urged the Regional Directors and all other sector directors of the department to monitor projects and be diligent in contract execution and management to ensure value for money.
As part of the seminar, a DFR contract management system, a software to monitor contractors’ certification process, procurement and payments, was launched by Mr Kwabena Owusu Aduomi, Deputy Minister for the Roads and Highways.
He said the system was to address the delays and shortcoming in contract management where contractors would have to run around and chase their certificates for a long time, disclosing that with the new system, contract certificates could be approved within three days.
The two-day seminar was attended by all regional and departmental heads as well as stakeholders from the Ministry and matters tabled for discussions included ‘the effect of decentralization and creation of new regions on DFRs operations; strategies for effective contract management and effective strategies in embedding labour based technology.