The National Chairman of the National Coordinating Committee (NCC) of the Ghana Highway Authority Retired Staff Association (GHARSA), Nana Nanabanyin Queesy Ninsin-Imbeah II, has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to sack Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, the Minister for Roads and Highways.
The former Principal Regional Surveyor of the GHA position is premised on his conviction that the Roads Minister has wilfully caused financial loss to the state.Nana Ninsin-Imbeah II said the Minister who is also Member of Parliament for Atiwa West had disregarded the Ghana Highway Authority Act 540 section 16 (1) which talks about the collection of tolls by the Authority on any trunk road and related facilities.
The GHARSA chairman also referred to Section 16 (2) of the said Act of. Parliament, which provides that “Notwithstanding sub-section (1) of Section 16, the Authority (GHA) may, subject to Cabinet approval, contract with any commercial body for the management of Toll Roads, bridges and ferries owned by it or under its control upon such terms and conditions as shall be agreed upon between the Authority and the body concerned.”
He argued that for the Minister to have disregarded the law and brought such a
huge embarrassment upon himself and the government, the president should not hesitate to sanction him for the unpardonable mess.
According to him the provisions of Act 540 are explicitly clear that the action by the Minister to have directed the stoppage of road tolls by the stroke of the pen is unthinkable and wondered from where the Minister derived his powers.The former GHA official said the GHA ACT 540 cannot be overturned by a Minister and questioned why the Minister rushed to issue a letter stopping the collection of the tolls (Road & Bridge) shortly after the 2022 Budget statement was presented, without passing through the appropriate procedure to overturn same.
The GHARSA chairman said the Roads Minister, who had earlier closed down the Kubease Toll Booth in Ashanti Region for substantial cause, has further proceeded to treat the Ghana Highway Authority Act with contempt by directing the cessation of the collection of Road and Bridge Tolls countrywide thereby making the revenue to be collected to go waste without any tangible and justified reasons.
“His (Minister) action is unlawful, and unwarranted especially when the 2022
Budget thus presented had not been debated and approved or otherwise by the Parliament of Ghana.As a result, the Minister should not be encouraged to operate as if there are no laws regulating the operations of the Ministry of Roads and Highways, the concerned GHA retiree stated.
He said the circumstances leading to cessation of the collection of levies at the toll booths as announced by the Minister of Finance in his presentation of the 2022 Budget and the subsequent directive by the Roads Minister to effect it less than 12 hours was suspicious.
According to him, for the Alliance of Drivers, Ghana, a drivers’ union, to have consistently called for the replacement of toll booths and lately a week before the Finance Minister presented the 2022 Budget also smacks off a premeditated plan to cancel the toll booths, which he described as a sad development.