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Gov’t hints of plans to review road tolls

The government is seeking to implement an upward adjustment of existing road tolls to expand road infrastructure across the country.

The review is to be aligned with current market rates, Caretaker Finance Minister, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, announced to Parliament while presenting the government’s budget speech on Friday.

“Mr. Speaker, to maintain the improvements on our roads, the government will review existing road tolls and align them with current market rates. This will form part of the framework for promoting burden-sharing as we seek to transform our road and infrastructure sector in a post-COVID era,” he said.

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister also disclosed that with the year under review, the government will do so by amending the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2018 (Act 983) that governs the setting of rates and tolls.

This, he said, is “to accommodate an automatic annual adjustment that will be pegged to the previous year’s average annual inflation as published by the Ghana Statistical Service”.

Roads and Highways Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, had previously said that increasing the existing road tolls for vehicles in the country is the surest way to meet the demand for rehabilitation, maintenance, and possible new constructions to improve infrastructure in Ghana’s road sector.

During his vetting in Parliament, he stated that one of the policies he will roll out is to without delay, ensure that road tolls go up marginally should his reappointment be confirmed.

“If I am given the approval, it’s one of the things I am going to do immediately. There is going to be a proposal to increase the toll rate, and I am going to bring to this house [Parliament] for support,” Mr. Amoako-Attah suggested.

The then Minister-designate argued that data available to him point out the fact that Ghana is the only country worldwide that pays the lowest toll rate, adding that Ghanaians must be prepared to pay more to enjoy good roads just as it is done in some other countries around the world.

“The research that has been done in my Ministry suggests that on average, toll rate is about a dollar. In Ghana, a dollar is close to GHS6.00, but people pay 50 pesewas as road toll.”

Mr. Amoako-Atta stated that contrary to the public uproar that greeted the last increment in the road toll in the country, he is ever ready to exercise his unflinching resolve to see to the successful implementation of his proposal through parliamentary approval.

“The last time tolls were increased, there was so much hue and cry in this country. We all saw what happened in this country with drivers saying they will go on strike. Will Ghanaians be prepared to pay more for road toll as it is seen in other parts of the world? We pay the lowest rate. Meanwhile, we want good roads. Ghanaians should be prepared to pay for good roads and if I am given the opportunity, it will be done,” he noted.

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