Editorial: We Applaud Asenso-Boakye For Bringing Back Road Tolls

The Ministry of Roads and Highways, according to citinewsroom.com, has begun engaging key stakeholders to finalise the decision to reinstate road tolls. According to the sector minister, Francis Asenso-Boakye, road tolls must be reintroduced to help the government repair some of the country’s deteriorating roads.

“Road maintenance also means money. In many countries, they use the money that they collect from road tolls to finance maintenance. But in our case, we have suspended it and The Chronicle thinks it is a good time for us to start the discussion to bring these road tolls back and get money to maintain our roads.

“That is very important and we have started the process by engaging the various stakeholders to get their buy-in to make sure that we bring the road tolls back,” the website quoted the minister as saying.

The Chronicle is happy that after almost three years of cessation, the road ministry has decided to bring back the road tolls. As Minister Francis Asenso Boakye stated, road tolls are used to maintain roads throughout the world, but his predecessor issued a bizarre fiat to stop it.

Sometimes, some of the political decisions our elected leaders take thwart the forward march of the country. No Ghanaian protested against the collection of the tolls, but because of the Electronic Transaction Levy (E-Levy) that was going to be introduced at the time, the minister, without any consultation with stakeholders or public discussions, ordered that the collection must cease.

Hundreds of disabled persons who had been employed to collect the tolls were thrown out of the job market. To make matters worse, most of the toll booths, especially those on the Accra-Tema Motorway, were deliberately destroyed after a truck ran into one of them. Meanwhile, these toll booths were constructed at a huge cost to the poor tax payer.

Now that these tolls are going to be brought back, who is going to bear the cost of reconstructing the destroyed booths? Clearly, the reckless dissipation of state resources in the manner we saw in this situation is very distressing.

Indeed, at the time of cancellation of the road toll collection, the authorities had projected to collect GHS78 million. If the collection were to be in place up till date, this figure could have doubled by now. It is the hope of The Chronicle that after, the toll has been re-introduced and no minister will in the near future take such a hasty decision to abolish it.

The United States of America is the most developed country in the world, yet it has not stopped the collection of road tolls. However, Ghana, a developing country, with so many cars on our roads think it is wrong to collect a token from drivers to maintain our roads. We insist that the November 2021 decision taken by Mr Amoako-Atta, the former sector minister, will go down as one of the worst decisions in the annals of this country.

This is why everybody must applaud Assenso Boakye, the new minister, for the bold decision he has taken to bring back the road toll collection. Of course, paying taxes is very painful, but it is a necessary evil if we are to ensure regular maintenance of our roads.


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