The Minister of Roads and Highways, Alhaji Amidu Sulemani, was quoted last week in the media for urging communities to fix their roads and charge tolls.
This was during his tour of ongoing road projects in Accra.
Many people had issues with this advice, as it is likely to be abused and besides constructing roads and the decision to collect tolls on them is the responsibility of government.
Going by the Minister’s advice, if anybody or community repair one kilometer stretch of road, they can charge road tolls, and as much as they want?
Government cannot abdicate its responsibility to citizens. Citizens pay taxes and expect government to use their taxes to develop the country, which include infrastructure development, such as road maintenance, building of schools, hospitals, security etc.
By the Minister’s logic, it means, anybody or community can build secondary school and charge any fees that they deem fit. Some developmental needs of the people, is the sole responsibility of government. Not everything or sector can be left in the hands of private individuals, whose motive has always been profit.
Did the Minister, ever thought of how many toll booths that will surface in every short distance, considering the nature of our roads?
If communities and individuals are allowed to fix their own roads and charge tolls, then what is the work of the Ministry Of Roads And Highways, and the Ghana Highways Authority (GHA)?
It is incomprehensible and unacceptable to expect the tax payer to undertake this mission.
It is about time our public officials measure what they say and where they say it. Such a monumental suggestion should have been discussed in Cabinet, before the Minister came out to embarrass the government.
If the job is too much for some of them, they should bow out, before they take all of us down with them. This country deserve better.