Kwaku Kwarteng vs. Ken Agyapong: Is government bringing back road tolls?

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Tue, 12 Apr 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Government abolishes road tolls in November 2021

Two NPP MPs contradict each other on government position on tolls

E-Levy proceeds meant to fund road sector

When Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta presented the 2022 budget in November 2021, he announced the scrapping of road tolls as the government planned to roll out a new revenue measure, the Electronic Transfer Levy (E-Levy).

Right after the announcement and before the E-Levy was passed, the Roads Minister announced a halt to the collection of tolls across the country.

There have been conflicting narratives about whether or not the road tolls will be reintroduced even as the E-Levy has been passed by Parliament and assented to by the President.

Two Members of Parliament belonging to the ruling New Patriotic Party have in recent times made contradictory statements on the issue of tolls.

Kwaku Kwarteng

According to Obuasi West MP and Chairman of Finance Committee of Parliament, Kwaku Kwarteng, the government will not reintroduce the road tolls.

"The tolls were already not earning us that much and it had a lot of issues that came with it. The removal is in the right direction. There could be a review of the decision but I don't get that sentiment.

"I need to stress that the government's reason for scrapping the tolls remains valid and I support that position until new evidence comes that points to the need to review that position," he stressed on Accra-based Peace FM late last week.

Kennedy Agyapong

Meanwhile, Assin Central MP, Kennedy Agyapong was also sending different signals relative to tolling according to a Starr FM report of April 9, 2022.

The Chairman of Parliament's Defence and Interior Committee was reported as stating that tolling was going to be reinstated except that the process was going to be automated.

“The Finance Minister rushed a bit which resulted in misunderstanding. We have over 39 tollbooths in this country but with all the tolls they collect, what goes to the government is 68 million cedis.

"Meanwhile, in a month, Tema motorway alone, they rake in 35 million cedis a month. It is good it has been closed down. How can a Government set up a business for individuals to enrich themselves? Good, it has been closed down. What we are going to do now is automation,” he said while answering a question from a participant at a youth empowerment forum in Koforidua.

He stressed: “Automated system will take records of every car that passes through so the government knows how many cars drove through so that the private operator, government’s calculation will be based on the number of cars recorded.

“I will tell you, Ghanaians are naturally born bad. 39 tollbooths and you make 68 million cedis and they have enriched themselves.”

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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