General Secretary of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu, has thrown his weight behind the Roads Minister’s suspension of road tolls following the 2022 Budget statement presentation by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, November 17.
Delivering the budget before Parliament, the Finance Minister indicated that the government has been scrapped the road tolls nationwide.
”Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved,” he stated emphatically.
Prior to the approval of the budget, the Roads Minister in a statement on Monday directed that toll collection at the various toll booths across the country should be halted effective Thursday, November 18, 2021.
“Following the presentation of the 2022 Budget by the Hon. Minister of Finance on behalf of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, the Ministry of Roads and Highways hereby directs the cessation of the collection of road and bridge tolls at all locations nationwide. This directive takes effect from 12 am on Thursday, November 18, 2021,” the statement read.
But the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has directed the Roads and Highways Minister to immediately withdraw the directive.
“This House cannot be taken for granted,” he said, stressing “that is not democracy and that will be one-man rule; and so, I want to clearly direct that what the minister has released has no effect”.
However, the NPP General Secretary believes abolishing the road tolls is a right step.
According to him, there were too many “nuisance” toll booths across the country and also generated less revenue for the country.
Furthermore, the toll booths created huge traffic because “the roads were not made for cars to stop but rather to move on it, so the more cars are stationary when they reach the booths, the greater the destruction on the roads” he further said.
John Boadu, commending the government for this bold step, also disclosed; “The whole Ghana, in all the 37 toll booths we have, the revenue they generate is 78 million . . . and even this 37 toll booths, just a few of them raise about 80% of the money”.
He made this submission on Peace FM’s ‘Kokrokoo’ Friday morning.