Finance Ministry Proposes New Rates For Road Toll
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has proposed an increment in the amount paid as road toll.
This is part of steps being taken by the government as it considers reintroducing the tax policy.
In a memo dated 10th March, 2023 to the Roads and Highways Ministry, Mr Ofori-Atta sought their input on the proposed rates.
In November 2021, the Finance Minister announced the cessation of the collection of road toll, subject to the approval of Parliament, during the presentation of the budget.
He cited congestion and traffic jams at the toll booths as justification for the decision.
“Over the years, the tolling points have become unhealthy market centers, led to heavy traffic on our roads. Lengthened travel time from one place to the other and impacted negatively on productivity.
“The congestion generated at the tolling points also leads to pollution, in and around the vicinity. To address these challenges, government has abolished the collection of road toll on all public roads,” Mr Ofori-Atta announced in 2021.
Before Parliament could deliberate on the proposal by Mr. Ofori-Atta, the Roads and Highways Minister, Mr. Kwasi Amoako-Attah issued a press release to cancel the collection of road toll.
The then Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu rejected the cancellation of the toll collection.
He predicted that government will at some point reintroduce the levy.
“We want the road toll reinstated and we demand that the toll booths remain functional and the revenue accrued from it made available for the public. As if when you have the mandate to govern, you can do as you please.
“There is nowhere in the world without a functioning toll booth. The state has lost significant amount of money due to this,” Mr Iddrisu stated.
A year and a half later, Mr Iddrisu’s prediction has become reality.
Per the memo sighted, the proposal is for a composite average of 88.05 per cent increase across board.
Heavy buses, for instance, would pay GH¢2.00, cars will pay GH¢1.00 instead of the previous GHp50, motor bike- GH¢0.50 instead of GH¢0.10 and Pick-up/4*4 vehicles – GH¢1.50 instead of GH¢1.00.
Defending the government’s decision to reintroduce road toll, Deputy Roads Minister Stephen Jalulah said it is because the E-levy is not raking in the needed revenue.
“Road tolls were only suspended, pending the approval of E-levy. Indeed, we use to get around GH₵70 million and that is a lot of money that can do something. But in the E-levy was a component of a chunck of money.
“If we had approved it earlier and if E-levy had worked the way it was conceived, I am not sure we’ll be having this conversation. But unfortunately, the E-levy failed us,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tax consultant Dr. Abdallah Ali-Nakyea says studies done suggest Ghanaians are prepared to pay more as road toll if the revenue will go into the construction of roads.