Reintroduction of road toll and matters arising

Reintroduction of road toll and matters arising

● Reopening of toll booths should not cause congestion

The Finance Minister, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, presenting the 2022 budget in Parliament, announced the government’s de­cision to abolish road tolls, citing the “inconveniences” the toll booths were causing.

He said at the time that though money was needed to fix deplorable roads in the country, the setup of toll booths had led to congestion as it involved more “human intervention processes.”

This congestion, Mr. Ofori-Atta said, affected productivity nega­tively, while the booths became unhealthy market centres, length­ening travel time from one place to the other and polluted the vicinities where these tollboths were situated.

Due to the above mentioned challenges, the government abolished the collection of toll, ef­fective November 18, 2021. Some reports however suggest that the abolishing of tolls had caused the government to lose over GH¢200 million, a substantial amount which could have constructed and maintained some roads.

Sixteen months after the cancellation of the tolls, the Ministry of Roads and Highway has announced the re-introduction of same.

I personally applaud the deci­sion, as it will help generate funds to fix some bad roads. But in bring­ing back the toll, what measures has the government put in place to ensure that the “challenges” that led to its abolishment do not rear their ugly heads again?

I hope that as the toll collec­tion leads to increase in revenue, the government will replace human beings with automated machines, as indicated by Mr Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, the Majority Leader in Parliament.

This, I believe, can solve the many inconveniences that came with the collection of the tolls. As to whether hawkers will stop hawking around toll booths, that is another thing for the government to critically look at.

Evelyn Naadu Borquaye,

Pentecost University,

Accra.

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