Minority leader Haruna Iddrisu has stated that the country will reintroduce roll tolls in the near future despite the government’s intention of scrapping road tolls in the yet to be approved 2022 budget.
The lawmaker, speaking on Joy News’ PM Express on Monday November 22, 2021, indicated that many countries in the world depend on tolls to fund its road construction projects.
Commenting on the e-levy debate, Haruna Iddrisu, said it would have been better for government to increase road tolls as it stated in the 2021 budget rather than introduce the electronic transaction levy.
“You can double it, increase it. The New Patriotic Party in the 2021 budget said it will increase road tolls only to somersault this year, to say they are taking it off because they are relying on e-levy. But I’m still on tolls…let’s get serious as a country. I’m very optimistic and without fear of contradiction, road tolls will be reintroduced in Ghana…mark it…in the foreseeable future. You cannot be talking about dualization of roads…you want to do Accra-Kumasi , Accra-Cape Coast, maybe Tamale-Bolga , or maybe Tamale-Wa …everywhere in the world tolls will support, especially where government itself has passed what is known as the public private partnership . If you come and invest in the road sector how do you recoup your money particularly with this distressed economy? You will have to rely on tolls. What the people of Ghana want the proper use of the money,” he added
Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta at the presentation of the 2022 budget statement announced government’s decision to abolish roads beginning next year once the budget is approved.
However, the Roads and Highways Ministry in the aftermath of the presentation issued a statement indicating the immediate cessation of the collection of roll toll from Thursday, November 18, 2021.
This did not go down well with the Speaker of Parliament Alban Bagbin who directed the sector minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta to reverse the directive.
He argued that the intention of government as contained in the budget statement had not yet been approved.
In a subsequent statement, the Roads and Highways ministry justified the cessation of the collection of road tolls stating that it suspended the operationalisation of the toll and not the law.