Professor Arthur Yarhands, a lecturer at the Akenten Appiah-Menka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development, has condemned the Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, over the reintroduction of the road tolls.
The Minister suspended the collection of road and bridge tolls during the 2022 budget statement which was delivered in November last year.
The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, who announced it stated that the revenue from the road tolls would be catered for by the introduction of the electronic transfer levy (E-Levy).
However, delivering the mid-year budget in parliament, Ofori-Atta indicated that government intends to toll some new road projects in the country, including the Tema Motorway when expanded.
But reacting to the budget statement on Dwaboase on TV XYZ, Prof. Arthur Yarhands pointed out that the country had lost so much revenue due to the cancellation of the road tolls and blamed Ofori-Atta and his cousin, Amoako-Atta who is the sector minister.
He said, “if Ghana were a serious country, the Roads Minister should be charged for causing financial lost to the country.”
“If we were in a serious country, the Finance Minister and the Roads Minister, having come back to the toll booth, should have resigned because it deprived the country of some revenue,” Prof Yarhands argued in Akan.
The disclosure of the tolling of some new roads during the mid-year budget review presented on Monday, July 25, 2022, has triggered attacks on the two ministers but the government has denied going back to toll existing roads.
In a statement, the Roads Ministry insisted that government does not intend to re-introduce the road tolls which were suspended a few months ago.
“The Ministry wishes to state categorically that the government has not reinstated toll collection across the country. We further wish to clarify that the Finance Minister’s reference to tolls in the budget review was in respect of PPP road projects only. The Ministry wishes to reassure the public that the government will continue to use innovative means to finance road projects across the country,” Nasir Ahmad Yartey, Head of Public Relations at the Roads Ministry, clarified.