Forum for Good Governance and Democracy (FGGD), wishes to call on President Nana Akufo-Addo to as a matter of urgency abolish the ‘controversial towing fee’ policy that has been recommended by some parliamentarians for implementation this year. The National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) has the responsibility to provide safety rules and regulations on our roads to protect lives and property. However, the process of going about the towing fee is to some extent trying to impose a levy on Ghanaians with the support from government.
According to Das (2003) ‘‘Under development occurs when development programmes are implemented with a top bottom approach with an abuse of state power thereby excluding the people in any planning and conceptualization process. A policy which has been thought through with the people would not attract serious opposition as we are witnessing today. Information available to us indicate that the Road Safety Management Services Limited (RSMSL) has already acquired some 118 trucks ahead of the implementation, for the exercise, meaning that the government is poised to force the towing levy policy on poor Ghanaians.
To further stress Das point, this proposal of towing levy was introduced under the National Democratic Congress(NDC) government in 2014, but rejected by the former president, H.E. John Dramani Mahama and hitherto its implementation has become a problem. Why do the New Patriotic Party (NPP) deem it fit to bring it back for implementation? The public outcry on this policy is overwhelming and the President must listen to the people. The drivers and car owners who are going to suffer when the towing fee is implemented have spoken a lot and their voices must be heard.
In fact, it is mindboggling, the poor nature of our roads in the country and the rate at which car owners are investing so much in the purchase of vehicle parts every now and then. Additionally, drivers have suffered various forms of paying taxes and unnecessary increments imposed by the central government, just to own a vehicle in Ghana. The social life and wellbeing of car owners and drivers has been segregated from the central government policies that is meant to affect their lives.
The notion that broken down vehicles on our roads causes road carnage is neither here nor there. The solution to road accidents is for the DVLA to avoid giving out road worthy certificate to vehicles without physical inspection of those vehicles and issuance of fake licenses for Ghanaians and foreigners. Again, our roads are too dark in the night, making it difficult for oncoming vehicles to see clearly when vehicles are broken down. Also, our roads lack better road safety signs as well as first class roads in the country. Even the Tema Motorway has become a death trap, citing various potholes on the road, while tolls are being collected every day. There are no cameras on our roads to check bad road users and over speeding.
The fact is that NRSC has failed woefully in the discharge of their duties. Broken down vehicles cannot alone cause road carnage and therefore the president of the Republic of Ghana must abolish it with immediate effect. What we want to see is the introduction of road signs and replacement of old ones which has been broken down by vehicles and also deliberately destroyed by some individuals. We want to see properly marked roads to serve as a guide for drivers. We want to see first class roads across the country. This is the new Ghana we are yearning for.
-Forum for Good Governance and Democracy