The Ministry of Transportation is the government establishment responsible for formulating policies for the road transport sector, establishing the regulatory framework for road transport operations, investments and the development of an integrated road transport system which is modally complementary.
As a result of nearly the total breakdown of the country’s road infrastructure in the early 1980s, there was the need for a dedicated Ministry to be created during the short to medium term to focus on improving the road infrastructure and putting in place sustainable maintenance systems.
The Ministry was created initially as Ministry of Roads and Highways (MRH) in 1982. Hitherto Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) was responsible for feeder, urban and trunk roads under the then Ministry of Works and Housing.
In 1997, Ministry of Roads and Transport (MRT) was created out of the then Ministry of Roads and Highways and Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The Ministry exercised an oversight responsibility of all the transport modes which came under one Ministry.
In April 2001, a new Ministry of Roads and Highways was created. In October 2001 the Ministry was restructured and renamed Ministry of Roads and Transport.
In 2005 a new Ministry of Road Transport was created out of the Ministry of Roads and Transport. In 2006 however the ministry was renamed as the Ministry of Transportation.
The Ministry supervises and monitors the activities of the various Departments and Agencies. However, more than 90% of their activities are provided by the private sector who works throughout the country, employing a large number of professionals, skilled and non-skilled labour.
The Chief Director is the technical head and advices the political head on all technical matters.
From pre independence time, up to about the mid 1990’s the policy in use for execution of road works was known as ‘force account’ this was the practice of using direct labour by the designated agency to execute road works. As the economy improved there was a need for policy shift and this brought about the change from force account to ‘contracting’.
By 1996 the then Ministry of Roads and Highways had officially accepted the policy of giving 90 % of all available road works to the private sector for execution through contracting, whiles retaining the remaining ten percent to be executed by the force account system. This is the system presently in use which ensures that the private sector is given responsibility for handling a major proportion of road works nation wide.