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Minority slams govt over U-turn on suspension of road tolls

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The Minority in Parliament has criticised the government’s decision to reintroduce road tolls, labeling the move as wayward.

The Ministry of Roads and Highways recently announced that it has started consultations with key stakeholders to finalise the reinstatement of road tolls, a measure aimed at funding repairs for the country’s deteriorating roads.

Speaking to journalists, Minority Chief Whip Governs Kwame Agbodza condemned the government’s decision, arguing that it highlights a lack of seriousness and proper governance.

“They said they would not take road tolls, that is an interesting position of the current road minister. In fact, is it not the case that he was part of the cabinet when the decision was taken to suspend the collection of tolls and when the speaker and all of us drew the attention that the singular action was illegal? They told Mr speaker to go to the toll booths and collect the tolls himself if he likes. This is just a testament to a government that is wayward, out of touch and doesn’t know what it wants.

“Today, the cabinet took a decision to suspend the collection of tolls as propaganda to foist the E-levy down the throat of Ghanaians. We are paying e-levy today and they want to take more money from you so they are coming back to contact each other to say that they want to collect tolls. The entire government is condemned. They cannot pick and choose who is upright in their government, so, we wait. We have consistently said that there was no need to suspend the collection of tolls.

The then Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, in the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the government to Parliament, proposed the abolition of all road and bridge tolls across the country.

However, in a statement issued a few hours after the budget statement and signed by the then Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako Atta, the ministry directed that toll collection at the various toll booths across the country must be halted from 12 a.m. last Thursday.

This attracted some reservations from the Minority group in Parliament with the Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, accusing the minister of usurping the powers of Parliament, whose enactment birthed the tolls.

That resulted in the Speaker of Parliament ordering Amoako Atta to immediately withdraw a press release calling for the cessation of collection of road tolls.

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