The Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, has given the assurance that the government will soon fix all potholes on the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) to Kpone road to make it motorable.
He said the government was committed to ensuring that all roads in the country became motorable.
He conceded that although there was a contractor on the road, there had been some delays in fixing the deplorable road.
Mr. Amoako-Atta said as a remedial measure, the contractor, Joshob Construction Ltd, had been directed to grade the bad portions of the road and compact it to make it motorable while efforts were made to permanently reconstruct the road.
The Minister gave the assurance Thursday [June 29, 2023] when he toured the road in the wake of the sit-down strike declared by the Petroleum and Gas Tanker Drivers Union over the deteriorated state of the road.
Accompanying the minister was the Chief Director of the Ministry of Roads and Highways, Dr. Abass Awulu, the Chief Executive at Ghana Highways Authority, Christian Nti, the Director of the Department of Urban Roads, James Amoo-Gottfried, the Director of Feeder Roads, K. N. Akosah- Koduah, and the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Kpone-Katamanso, Samuel Okoe Amanquah.
Suspension of strike
Following the assurance from the minister and after over three hours of closed-door meetings with the leadership of the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union, the sit-down strike was suspended.
The Vice Chairman of the union, Sunday Alabi, at a press briefing in Tema said after meeting with the ministers of Roads and Highways and Transport, and in further consultation with their members, the union had decided to call off the strike by midnight of Thursday, based on some conditions.
He said firstly, the access roads to the depots in Kumasi, Takoradi, and Buipe were to be improved, adding that works on those access roads would commence by Friday, June 30, 2023.
Secondly, a seven-member committee comprising three members from the Ministry of Roads and Highways, and four members from the union had been set up to monitor the progress of works in Tema, Kumasi, Takoradi, and Buipe.
He said although works were currently ongoing on the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) Road, the contractor on the road should increase his equipment holding on the road to ensure that riding quality was improved within three weeks.
The Chairman of the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union, George Teye Nyaunu, expressed the hope that the Ministry of Roads and Highways, as well as Transport, would fulfill the conditions agreed with the drivers in order to ensure industrial harmony.
The members of the Ghana National Petroleum Tanker Drivers and the Gas Drivers Unions last Tuesday issued an ultimatum to the government on the deplorable state of the Tema Oil Refinery to Kpone road as well as the roads leading to the depots in Takoradi, Buipe, and Kumasi, following what they described as the painful experiences of their members who load their products from the petroleum enclaves
They said they had withdrawn their services until the deplorable roads leading to those depots were rehabilitated.
Mr Nyaunu in an earlier interview indicated that in 2017, the union petitioned the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who instructed the Minister of Roads and Highways to rehabilitate the roads in the enclave.
In August 2020, the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, undertook a sod-cutting ceremony for the reconstruction of the 7.2-kilometer stretch from the Valco Roundabout Area to the Kpone link road.
The project was designed to expand the existing single-carriageway to a dual-carriageway with improved drainage systems.
The first two kilometers within the heavy industrial zone were to have a concrete surface, while the remaining five would be asphaltic.
Per the timelines, construction works were expected to be completed within a 24-month period but Mr Nyaunu said construction works had stalled, while the already deplorable road had further deteriorated.