Thank you very much, Mr Speaker for the opportunity. Mr Speaker, the President was right in stating in paragraph 5 of page 16 and with your permission I beg to quote:
“When our roads are not adequately maintained or repaired, we face the possibility of losing precious lives, losing much needed revenue and losing time that could have been better spent doing something other than sitting in traffic.”
However, Mr Speaker, maintenance has not been adequately done since 2009 when the NPP Administration left office. Mr Speaker, maintenance of our roads had consistently been low and I have reiterated this on the floor of the House severally, that, we are not paying attention at all to our road maintenance. In fact, average has been less than 50 per cent. Mr Speaker, I was surprised when the President smiled at the kilometres that have been maintained on page 17, paragraph (4), that 15,405 kilometres of trunk roads, urban and feeder roads were maintained in the 2013 fiscal year.
Mr Speaker, this is amazing.
Mr Speaker, from the 2013 Budget, when you go to 134, paragraph (521), 50,723 kilometres of roads, trunk roads, feeder roads and urban roads were planned for maintenance. However, only 15,405 kilometres were achieved. This amounts to 30 per cent of our maintenance. Mr Speaker, that is why we have huge backlog of maintenance on our truck roads, on our feeder roads and on our urban roads.
It is not surprising at all Mr Speaker, that, when you travel on our roads, you see lack of maintenance. Potholes, bushy road sides, non-gravelled surfaces, corrugated surfaces, gulleys and so on and so forth. Mr Speaker, maintenance on our roads have not been adequate although the President knows that when you adequately maintain your roads, you save lives and you save costs.
Mr Speaker, a study has been conducted between September and December 2012 by the Ministry of Roads and Highways and Ghana Statistical Service on National Transport, Household Survey Phase ll. This Project has been funded by the European Union and the Government of Ghana to support transport sector development. In this Report, it has shown clearly that poor roads all over the country, have been a significant obstacle in our socio-economic development of the nation.
When you go to page 27, Table 3.1.1 of that Report, he said main difficulties faced in going to school, 60 per cent is due to bad roads - Main difficulties faced by the employed going to the workplace, 51.4 per cent, page 42 of Table 5.6; main difficulties faced by marketing farm produce, in that Report, when you go to page 50, Table 5.1.7, 59.2 percent, he says that is a problem.
Main obstacle faced in going to the marketplace by rural folks, page 73, Table 6.3.0, 64.1 per cent, it says it was due to bad roads that they were not able to go to the market. When you go to page 82, Table 6.4.2, reasons for inability to reach health facility, 84.4 per cent indicate that it is due to bad roads. Indeed, bad roads are causing a lot of problems to our rural folks. In fact, the whole nation is retarding economically -- agriculture is going down because imagine when you farm and you are not able to go to the market, it demoralises the farmer to even expand or widen the farms.
So, bad roads are causing a lot of problems to our nation. The main difficulty facing the Ministry of Roads and Highways is payment to contractors for work done. Payment for either routine maintenance, periodic maintenance, development works, upgrading works, et cetera, are unduly delayed. I was expecting the President to address this