The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), has welcomed the directive by the government for the cessation of road toll collection.
Its Executive Director, Duncan Amoah, in an interview on Eyewitness News said the move by the government makes economic sense as the the collection of road tolls come at a cost far higher than the revenue generated.
“We are very happy with the turn of events and the new policy directive from the Finance Ministry that the toll booths are going to be removed. It is clear that the removal of these toll booths will not come at any cost to Ghanaians… The amount of fuel we waste annually while marking time at these toll booths is in the region of GHS 400 million per conservative estimates and so it didn’t really make any economic or mathematical sense to continue taking the tolls,” he said.
“Of the about GHS 71 million we generate from our various toll booths, the transport ministry was clear that we lose as much as 40% to 80%, and so removing that completely sounds like a good option. The only cost that Ghanaians would have to brace themselves to bear is the 15% increment in fees for government services,” he added.
The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta during the presentation of the 2022 budget announced the cessation of collection of road tolls in the country.
The Minister said although the government needs to such revenue to fix roads in the country, it has observed that toll booths are doing more harm than good, causing heavy traffic and impacting negatively on productivity.
“To address these challenges, the government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately after the budget is approved,” the Finance Minister said.
According to Duncan Amoah, the government can consider still levying foreign trucks that ply the country’s major roads.
He suggested that the government redeployed toll collectors to Ghana’s various borders to take the tolls from foreign trucks.
15% government service charges
Duncan Amoah however urged the government to reduce the announced 15% average fee increment in public services.
He said the amount will bring to government far more than the expected revenue to make up for the removal of road tolls.
“We can scale it down a little bit because we presume government will be making way more than the toll booth that it has forgone simply because any other state agency you visit, you would have to pay more.”