Minister-designate for Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Attah has proposed an upward review of Ghana’s road toll rate to finance major roads in the country.
Mr Amoako Atta made this statement during Tuesday’s vetting process by the Appointments Committee in Parliament.
This was in response to a question posed by Member of Parliament for Asawase, Muntaka Mubarak on how to innovatively address the issue of funding of major roads in Ghana.
He stated: “At the moment, Ghana pays the lowest rate in the whole world…If you want to go the B.O.T. (Build Operate Transfer) or BOOT (Build Own Operate Transfer) way as we see in other parts of the world, the research that has been done by my ministry on the average toll rate is around $1. But here people pay 50p for toll rate.
As one of his foremost agenda if given the nod as the substantive Minister for Roads and Highways, Mr Amoako-Attah hopes to submit a proposal to Parliament for an increase in road tolls.
“And if I am given approval, it is one of the things I will do immediately. I will go to Cabinet first and present a proposal of increasing the toll rate and it will come to the honourable House and I believe all of you will support it and Ghanaians will accept it,” he said.
He, however, likened the situation of either paying a higher toll rate for good roads or vice versa to the chicken and egg conundrum.
“It’s like the problem of the egg and chicken; which one should come first? Are people prepared to pay more to get good roads or they should get good roads before they pay?
Making reference to the “hue and cry” from transport operators in the country in 2009 when toll rates were last increased he wondered if Ghanaians are ready to pay for the good roads needed in the country.
“I remember the last time toll rates were increased there was so much hue and cry in the country, raising it from 50p to GHS1. We all saw what happened in Ghana. Drivers were saying they’ll go on strike and all that.”
Regardless of the public outcry, those new toll rates took effect from February 1, 2010, following approval by Parliament under the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, Act 793.
So far, Ghana has about 35 tollbooths of which four namely; Ngleshie Amanfrom, Accra Plaza, Tema Plaza and the Amasaman booths have been automated as of 2019.
“So, will Ghanaians be prepared to pay more for toll rate as we are seeing in other parts of the world?
“We pay the lowest rate in the whole world, meanwhile, we want good roads. Ghanaians should be prepared to pay for good roads,” he concluded.
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