The Founder of the All Peoples Congress (APC), Hassan Ayariga, has lauded the decision to abolish road toll payments in the country.
He however, appealed to the government to roll out a policy for street hawkers who will be affected by this decision.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Monday November 22, he said “when the finance minister announced the government’s intention to scrap off toll booth fees, many people started talking about the issue of hawkers and the others.
“I am appealing to government to roll out a policy for street hawkers. I personally think it is a good idea not to take tolls again. I applaud the government for that initiative. Tolls on those dilapidated roads was a reap off. It was our taxes that was used to build those roads and paying roads tolls on them again was wrong.”
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta announced in the budget statement an end to the collection of the tolls.
During the presentation of the 2022 budget statement to Parliament on Wednesday November 17, he said this takes effect immediately the Budget is approved.
The toll collection personnel would be reassigned, he said.
“Government will complete its work with this House to pass the fees and charges bill for implementation in 2022.
“These fees and charges will be subject to automatic adjustment consistent with the annual average inflation as announced by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS).
“A comprehensive review will be conducted after every fifth-year taking into consideration, other factors besides inflation including, improvement in quality of service delivery and privatisation of some of the services, where feasible. Mr. Speaker, our roads need fixing. Our roads are being fixed.
“It is true that more roads have been fixed and are being fixed over the last five years than any relative period in the entire history of our nation. We even want to do a lot more and this budget will cater for this.
“That is why for decades, Government after Government imposed and maintained tolls on some public roads to raise funds for road construction and maintenance.
“This is the situation in many countries. However, over the years, the tolling points have become unhealthy market centres, led to heavy traffic on our roads, lengthened travel time from one place to another, and impacted negatively on productivity.
“The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities.
“To address these challenges, Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved (after appropriation or now?). The toll collection personnel will be reassigned. The expected impact on productivity and reduced environmental pollution will more than off-set the revenue forgone by removing the tolls.”