2019 Budget: Gov’t Pledges Massive Infrastructure Programme

Government has pledged to embark on massive infrastructural programme next year to position Ghana as transportation, energy and logistics hub in the West African sub-region.

Finance Minister, Mr. Ken Ofori Atta who disclosed this indicated that the programme is intended to move goods, food items and people, create jobs and prosperity and ensure value for money.

He revealed this in Parliament on Thursday when he presented government’s economic policy statement for 2019.

A bill, he said, will subsequently be submitted to Parliament to set up a Ghana Asset Management Corporation to ensure efficient management of the country’s infrastructure.

According to him, government will invest massively in the development of roads and infrastructure from a variety of funding sources and that these projects have been identified across all ten regions.

The government, he said, is also committed to completing projects commenced under the previous administration.

He indicated that Government will in 2019 partner with the private sector through PPP arrangements to undertake various projects including the Accra–Takoradi Highway Dualisation, Accra – Tema Motorway and Accra – Kumasi Highway Dualisation.

Mr. Ken Ofori Atta stressed that infrastructure, both hard and soft, are the backbone of economic development and growth, as well as a source of jobs and wealth for a majority of people.

He said, “In a rapidly changing global marketplace, traditional infrastructure like electricity and power, transport and logistics, water and sanitation, roads, highways, and railways have combined with new, mostly soft infrastructure like digitisation of government services to enable emerging economies like Ghana leapfrog the development path to prosperity.”

According to him, in the railway sector several rehabilitation works that commenced some years ago would be completed in 2019 and these include the 56 km narrow gauge line from Kojokrom to Tarkwa through Nsuta.

The 70.8km eastern railway line from Accra to Nsawam and Accra to Tema, he said, would be completed in December 2018 while rehabilitation will continue to Koforidua in 2019.

The Minister disclosed that feasibility studies for a proposed 596km Greenfield railway line from Kumasi to Paga has been undertaken and that Phase 1 from Kumasi to Buipe section will commence in 2019.

He indicated that a Railway Location Workshop at Essikado being modernised and equipped will be completed in 2019 to become a one-stop workshop to serve the railway, mining, petroleum and agricultural industries and pledged that 2019 will witness the relaunch of the railway system in Ghana.

By Osumanu Al-Hassan/uthmanhass@gmail.com

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