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Transport Ministry pushes for increase in road tolls

The Transport Ministry has turned to Cabinet in search of an increment in road tolls to boost revenue for the road fund.

The Sector Minister, Kweku Amoako Attah, said this was needed to improve the cash flow of the road fund and help pay contractors.

“As at now, I have sent a memo to Cabinet asking for an increase in the tolls all aimed at trying to improve revenue base and to improve the cash flow into the road fund so that the road fund board chairman and his board members will cease to sweat.”

Mr. Amoako Attah was speaking at the Ghana Highway Authority 2019 board and management retreat on Wednesday.

He also argued that an increment was needed “so that our contractors can be paid so that we can finance the road infrastructure that we want to give to our people and our country.”

Having described the current state of toll booths as “so filthy”, the Minister also said, “we are not getting the expected revenue out of the toll booth.”

According to him, after a survey, his Ministry has become aware of the fact that “we are losing a minimum of 40 per cent [revenue], maximum 80 percent revenue from our toll booths.”

Because of the struggles, Mr. Amoako Attah also ordered the immediate reassignment of Emmanuel Spencer Baah, the manager in charge of tollbooths in the country because of the handling of government policy regarding the employment of persons with disabilities.

“Instead of the 50 percent slot to the disabled people, only 100 are disabled. And even for this even this 100, I have had a number of complaints… The manager for toll booths should be removed and reassigned immediately,” said the Minister.

There are 35 tollbooths in the country.

Efforts have been made to automate all toll booths in the country, but only four out of the 35 toll booths had been automated.

The four are the Ngleshie Amanfrom, Accra Plaza, Tema Plaza and the Amasaman booths.

The automation is envisioned to increase the toll booth contribution to the road fund.

As at now, the highest contributor to the road fund is the fuel levy.

The Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) raked in GHc1.8 million in 2018 from the toll booths constructed on highways across the country. This was a 4.3 percent increase from the GHc1.79 million figure in 2017.