‘Whoever took the decision to stop road toll has caused financial loss to the state’ – Economist

An Economist with the University of Ghana Business School, Lord Mensah has suggested that whoever effected the abolishment of road toll collection in the country, must be surcharged with the revenue loss to the state.

Speaking on Top Story on Friday, he said the person responsible has caused financial loss to the State.

“We know very well when we read budget, the processes that the budget must go through, before the approval of funds, release of funds and actualisation of those funds in the accounts of the various institutions that are supposed to use the funds, and we know the processes, they are quite cumbersome.

Looking at a hung Parliament, I don’t foresee any prudent economic management who will say that I am going to remove road tolls because we have e-levy captured in the budget,” Mr. Mensah said.

He added that, “whoever took the decision to stop the road tolls has caused financial loss to the state, whatever has been lost he must be surcharged for it. …It wasn’t a prudent decision to take off the road tolls.”

The Finance Minister whiles presenting the 2022 Budget in Parliament disclosed that “Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved.”

However, on the same day, Roads and Highways Minister Kwasi Amoako-Attah ordered that toll collection at toll booths around the country be ceased effective Thursday, November 18, 2021 whiles the budget had not approved.

The Roads and Highways Minister said the Ministry’s directive on the cessation of the collection of tolls on public roads and bridges was intended to save lives and property.

The Ministry then in a release indicated that the earlier directive by the Minister, Kwesi Amoako-Atta to suspend the collection of toll by 12 am on Thursday was to “avert some unfortunate events” that happened at toll booths across the country.

According to them, the motorists clearly misconstrued the Finance Minister’s announcement on the road and bridge tolls “which was captured under paragraph 306 of the 2022 Budget.”

However, the decision to avoid road tolls was made in anticipation of the E-levy bill, which was expected to generate 6.7billions Ghana cedis.

Meanwhile, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in a town hall meeting on Friday in the Volta Region admitted that government’s cessation of collection of road tolls prior to the approval of the 2022 Budget has become a threat to the government’s revenue generation effort.

Minister said the appropriation bill was passed quickly because the government had confidence in its direction.

However, he said the politicisation of the passage of the E-levy has created problems for the government.


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