The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, on Monday July 25, during the presentation of the Mid-Year Budget Review in Parliament, announced that the government is set to reintroduce toll on some selected roads across the country.
According to him, government in line with the Public Private Partnership Act, 2020 (Act 1039) will establish a concession agreement between the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) and the Roads and Highway Ministry that will sponsor the 27.7-kilometer project.
He said, the tolling will not commenced until the roads are completed, explaining that, “The completed road will be tolled to recover the whole life cost of the completed infrastructure as well as pay lenders and provide a return for equity investors”.
We recalled that on November 17, 2021, the government revealed motorists who ply tolled roads across the country, will no longer be required to pay tolls.
“Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved,” Ken Ofori-Atta said while reading the 2022 budget to Parliament.
The government predicated its action on the low revenue toll boots were generating, as well as the introduction of the Electronic Levy, nicknamed E-Levy, which was to make up for the shortfall.
Expectedly, the announcement has continued to generate mixed reactions among Ghanaians. Some have contended that with the harsh economic climate presently, the move should be suspended till the economy improves as the toll payments will definitely add more burden to the already harangued masses.
Regrettably, in our opinion the condition of most roads in the country is nothing to write home about, no thanks to lack of maintenance. One road that deserves mention is the Dodowa road. Portion of the road is in bad shape and they is a lot of traffic on that stretch because of how narrow the road is, to toll that road again in its current state will be a disservice to motorists plying it.
Be that as it may, we suggest that when the toll booths come into effect, they should be automated to reduce incidences of corruption and extortion from unscrupulous personnel.