General News of 2014-01-16

UG officials attacked over “illegal” toll

A private legal practitioner, Abraham Amaliba, has described as illegal the decision to charge road tolls by the management of the University of Ghana, Legon.
In a media publication published on Wednesday, the university indicated that from February 1, 2014 road tolls will be charged on all vehicles that ply the roads within the campus.
According to the report, private vehicles will pay GHC 1, taxi and commercial vehicles will pay GHC2 Cedis while heavy duty trucks will pay GHC3 Cedis.
But in an interview on Eyewitness News with Shamima Muslim Alhassan, Abraham Amaliba said: “under the tax laws of Ghana and under the constitution, nobody can impose a tax, levy, fee without parliamentary approval and so for the University of Ghana to say that we are going to start charging tolls which is a form of taxation, I think they will need a legal backing to that.”
He further explained that although the idea of taking a loan to fix the roads is a good step, it does not mean that fees can be imposed on people that use the road because in Ghana, “roads are public goods.”
Meanwhile, the Students Representative Council (SRC) of the University of Ghana is calling on its stakeholders and government to come on board and abolish the introduction of road tolls within the university campus.
“We are calling on the government to come in and regulate some of these things because we are in a society that is being governed by a government. Something has to be done and we are calling on all stakeholders, government, university management to reconsider their stand within the shortest possible time,” President of the SRC Edem Agbana stated.
Mr. Edem Agbana who expressed disappointment at the refusal of the university management to consult them before going public with the charges said it is “inappropriate for the university to charge tolls above what the Ghana Highway Authority charges.”
According to him, the SRC should have been part of the deliberation process that led to the determination of the charges since the charges will in effect affect students of the university especially those who do not have cars, adding that commercial drivers will add the cost into their transport charges.
“We should not allow institutions to just sit and determine some of these things because at the end of the day if we are not careful they are going to make education, a preserve for only the rich,” he cautioned.
Source: citifmonline.com
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