By Patrick PAINTSIL
Government must focus on improving access roads and networks in the country in order to improve economic trade activities and facilitate hassle-free movement of goods and people, Mavis Ama Frimpong, Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, has said.
?Good access roads and networks underpin growth. We cannot improve socio-economic activities, including free movement of goods and people, if there are no good roads.
?We must work with a new paradigm of road maintenance and standard of care if we are to get value for money — in terms of enhanced trade and industrial activities and significant reduction in the rate of carnage on the roads,? she said at the closing ceremony of a two-week road maintenance management training for regional supervisors of Youth in Road Maintenance — a module under the Ghana Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) — in Koforidua.
The training programme was organised by Zeera Group, operators of the road maintenance programme, in collaboration with GYEEDA with expertise drawn from the Ministry of Roads and Highways. It formed part of a continuous refresher-training programme to improve supervisors? knowledge on quality road maintenance management and practices.
She lauded the work of participants but asked them to work to attain the mission for which the programme was rolled out, stressing the need for the personnel to be retrained every quarter to be continually updated on quality road management practices.
Isaac Adjei Mensah, Deputy Minister for Roads and Highways, said the capacity-building programme is Government?s way of providing skilled personnel to assist in ensuring good road networks across the country.
He said the rationale behind the youth in road maintenance programme is to create jobs for people as part of Government?s resolve to tackle unemployment, and part of a process to find a lasting solution to the carnage on the roads.
He said the project has so far registered 7,000 beneficiaries.
He enjoined participants to be diligent and apply the skills acquired to offer best services, in terms of providing road maintenance in the country.
Mr. Awal Mohammed, National Coordinator for Zeera Group in charge of Youth in Road Maintenance, implored the supervisors to eschew certain negative practices and rather practically apply what they were taught in their various stations.
?We have the responsibility to provide road maintenance services — patching, de-silting of drains and working along the shoulders of roads — through the use of innovative and modern technologies and methods, and you must always work in line with this mandate,? he advised.