Breaking News: Roads Ministry denies knowledge of proposed road toll hike
The Ministry of Roads and Highways has denied knowledge of a letter purportedly sent by the Ministry of Finance, proposing new road toll rates.
In the letter dated Friday, March 10, the Minister of Finance, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, gave his Ministry’s inputs regarding proposals on the fees and charges tabled for approval by the Roads Ministry.
The proposals included a composite average increase rate of 88.05 percent across the board.
However, according to Nasir Yartey, the Public Relations Officer for the Roads Ministry, the said letter is not authorized and the Roads Ministry has no knowledge of it.
Speaking on the Epa Hoa Daben show, Yartey said, “The said letter is a leaked document, we can’t speak to it, and we the roads ministry don’t know anything about it.”
When contacted for a comment, Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. John Kumah, also indicated that it’s a leaked document.
Road tolls were cancelled in 2022 after Mr Ofori-Atta read that year’s budget in Parliament, introducing the Electronic Transaction Levy to rake in more revenue from a larger section of the public.
However, after revenue shortfalls from the e-Levy, the Minister announced a reintroduction of tolls in the 2023 budget read on Thursday, November 24, 2022.
“The fiscal policy measures to underpin the 2023 Budget for consideration and approval by Parliament include the reintroduction of tolls on selected public roads and highways with a renewed focus on leveraging technology in the collection to address the inefficiencies characterized by the previous toll collection regime,” the Finance Minister stated in Parliament.
It is unclear whether the proposed toll rates contained in the leaked letter are the same as those that will be presented for approval by the Roads Ministry. The Ministry of Finance has not yet commented on the leak.
The reintroduction of road tolls has been a contentious issue in Ghana, with many citizens expressing dissatisfaction with the move.
The government has defended the decision, stating that the revenue generated from tolls will be used to improve the country’s road network and infrastructure.