Available statistics indicate the current population of Accra stands at 2,605,000, which is a 1.88% increase over the 2021 figure that stood at 2,557,000. The latter is also an increase of 1.71% from the 2020 figure of 2,514,000.
It is also estimated that the whole of Greater Accra has the highest number of registered vehicles in the country, which currently stands at 1,164,942.
The above statistics clearly show that Accra’s population is not only growing, but doing so alongside the number of vehicles plying its roads. This means we cannot pretend as if nothing is happening.
The city authorities must wake up and start planning on how to contain the population growth and the concomitant effect on movement of cars in the metropolis.
The Chronicle, however, admits that all the assemblies constituting the Greater Accra metropolitan area and the government has not disappointed the country when it comes to planning Accra, though there is still room for improvement.
Not only has roads in Accra been expanded, but alternative routes have also been constructed to help control the heavy traffic build-up, especially during the rush hours.
The Department of Urban Roads and the various assemblies have also collaborated to ensure that traffic control lights have been installed at all the major intersections in the city.
Though this is meant to control the movement of vehicular traffic, sadly the desired results are not being achieved. The failure to constantly maintain these traffic lights is creating traffic mess in the city with attendant effect on productivity.
The Motorway Extension was reconstructed by the John Agyekum Kufuor-Atta Mills administrations to help ease traffic build-up in the central part of Accra. But today, some of the traffic lights on this major road are not working.
As a result of this, commuters spend several working hours in traffic on this particular road. A similar problem is happening on the Tetteh Quarshie Interchange-Madina-Adenta road.
Even the Liberation Road, which is the main road in Accra, has not been spared this non-functioning traffic lights ordeal.
The Chronicle is, therefore, appealing to the appropriate authorities to tackle the problem head-on.
In our view the contract for the erection of these traffic lights should not be one-off. We suggest that the contractor who wins the bid should also be charged with the responsibility of maintaining them.
Clearly, the current problems have emerged because no one has been tasked to monitor the performance of the traffic lights on 24-hour basis.
For us as a country, we need to accept the fact that the long hours spent in traffic affects our productivity and consequently the growth of Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
This is another reason why the authorities must sit up and address the non-functioning traffic lights palaver.
Of course, in making this recommendation, we have not taken our minds off the economic problems facing the country. Nevertheless, fixing the problem, we dare say, will not bring the national economy to its knees.