We suspended operationalization of road toll, not the law – Roads Ministry clarifies

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Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, Minister for Roads and Highways in a group photo with executives of GhCCI.
Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, Minister for Roads and Highways in a group photo with executives of GhCCI.

The Roads and Highways ministry say the directive on the cessation of road and bridge tolls nationwide issued by the minister was to suspend the operationalization of the collection of the tolls and not the law, a statement issued here by the Public Affairs Unit said here Friday.

According to the ministry, it is aware that the cessation of the tolls could only come into effect after parliamentary approval but took the decision to avert any confrontation between toll collectors and motorists across the country.

The statement said, “The Minister of Finance’s statement either got misunderstood or misinterpreted by some motorists, as many of them deemed the statement as having an immediate effect and therefore decided not to pay the road and bridge tolls. The insistence of the toll collectors to have the tolls paid caused serious confusion, and in some cases, resulted in fisticuffs and damage to lives and property. It was to avert further unfortunate incidents that the ministry intervened by issuing the directive.”

“The ministry wishes to assure that the action taken was to suspend the operationalization of the collection of the tolls and not to suspend the law,” it added.

The Roads ministry further emphasized that it is aware of Parliament’s role in the imposition of taxes and the fixing of levies and charges and stressed that the appropriate thing would be done in the fullness of time.

Following the presentation of the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of the government by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta to Parliament on November 17, the Roads and Highways ministry directed the cessation of the collection of road and bridge tolls effective 12 am on the following day.

Following the Roads and Highways ministry’s announcement on the cessation of the road tolls, the Speaker of Parliament Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin on Thursday urged the Roads Minister, Kwasi Amoako Atta to withdraw the said directive issued a few hours after the budget was presented to Parliament. Enditem

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