SONA 2022: Has the NPP govt indeed built 10,875 km of new roads?

At the State of the Nation Address (SONA) yesterday, President Akufo-Addo said his government’s performance in road construction was unprecedented.

He said the NPP government had since 2017 built more roads than any other government which had been in power in the same period.

In the five years of my government, so far, more roads have been built, improved, and upgraded than at any other equivalent period under any government in the history of Ghana. Some ten thousand, eight hundred and seventy-five (10,875) kilometres of new roads have been constructed in these five (5) years,” the President said.

Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claim presents the explanation below.

According to the Ministry of Roads and Highways, as of May 2021, the government had built 4,263.37 km of roads across the country. The figure is reported in a document on the website of the ministry titled “List of road projects 2017 – May 2021. The report says the kilometres of road built included asphalt overlay, construction, reconstruction, partial reconstruction and rehabilitation. Thus, 4,263.37 km of roads constructed by the government so far are not all new roads.

Below are two tables copied from the list of roads projects document published by the Ministry of Roads and Highways. The tables show a breakdown of the types of road projects and the regions they are constructed.

Source: Ministry of Roads and Highways.

Source: Ministry of Roads and Highways.

A month ago, on February 18, 2022, Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, presented the same document on the floor of parliament. The Minister confirmed the same figure, 4,263.37 km, as the kilometres of road the government has built, as of May 2021.

“Mr. Speaker, I have compiled all the roads intervention between 2017-2021 and it totals 4263.37KM and Mr. Speaker my ministry, because they want to offer prima facie evidence of what we have done, we have broken the roads intervention into regions and it covers all the 16 regions of our country and we have also gone further to itemize all the roads activities that constitutes that total number.”

The official Twitter handle of the Ministry of Roads and Highway tweeted the Minister’s presentation in parliament.

Even if all the 4,263.37 km road projects were to be considered as new roads, the difference between the figure the Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, presented in parliament (4,263.37 km) and the figure President Akufo-Addo presented at the SONA (10,875 km) is 6,638.63 km.

For President Akufo-Addo’s claim of 10,875km of road to be true, the government would have constructed 6,638.63km of new roads from May 2021 to March 2022.

When Fact-Check Ghana reached out to the Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Roads of Highways, Nasir Ahmad Yartey, for clarifications, he said he was unable to provide any information on the matter, but said that the Ministry would issue a press statement later.

While Fact-Check Ghana cannot conclude President Akufo-Addo’s claim is completely false, the statement that the government has constructed 10,875 km is inconsistent with the data presented by the Ministry of Roads and Highways just last month.

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