The Ranking Member of Parliament’s Roads and Transport Committee has said the Minority Group is happy that the Finance Minister has recognized the importance of road tolls.
Mr. Governs Kwame Agbodza stated on JoyNews’ Newsnite on Monday that Minority opposed the cancellation of road toll due to the importance of the levy.
His comment comes in the wake of Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta’s revelation that government has found an innovative strategy to raise funds to facilitate the rehabilitation and extension of the Tema Motorway.
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 Highways Ministry that will sponsor the 27.7-kilometer project.
Presenting the Mid-Year Budget to Parliament for approval, Mr. Ofori-Atta said the project, upon completion, will be tolled.
Reacting to this, Mr. Agbodza called on the Finance Minister to apologise to Ghanaians for this U-turn.
“Apologise to the people of this country first, apologise to the toll workers he sacked, find money and pay them, apologise to the Speaker of Parliament,” he said.
According to him, since Mr. Ofori-Atta did not “come to Parliament with any apology, it is difficult to see what he wants to do.”
He added that if “tolling is a factor of revenue generation to construct roads” the Finance Minister should just say so.
This, according to Mr. Agbodza, is because road tolls are a factor of improvement in road maintenance in every advanced country.
He noted that the Finance Minister in the Mid-year budget did touch on how to pay the tollbooth workers who lost their job as a result of the cessation of collection of the toll.
He said Mr. Ofori-Atta also did not touch on how contractors will be paid.
“This Finance Minister didn’t say a word about how he was going to pay about 10 billion cedis he owes Ghanaian road contractors and he is talking about a new arrangement,” he added.
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