Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, has admitted that government’s cessation of collection of road tolls prior to the approval of the 2022 Budget has become a threat to the government’s revenue generation efforts.
Speaking at a town hall meeting held in the Volta Region on Friday, the Minister said the appropriation bill was passed quickly because the government had confidence in its direction.
However, he said the politicisation of the passage of the E-levy, has created problems for the government.
“The challenge really is, we passed the appropriation very quickly because there was an absolute belief in the direction that we were going and then the politics came to stall the issue of the revenue measure which is E-levy, and therefore, the issue of the tolls being disbanded having become a chain around our necks,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Roads and Highways Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Attah has revealed that in spite of the cessation of collection of road tolls, there hasn’t been any revenue loss to his Ministry.
Amoako-Attah made this revelation when answering an urgent question from the Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament, Kwame Agbodza on Friday.
“Mr. Speaker, there are in total, 38 toll booths across the country. There has been no loss of revenue to the Ministry of Roads and Highways since the cessation of the collection of the road tolls,” he told the House.
After the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta presented the 2022 Budget in November, 2021, Amoako-Attah directed that collection of tolls at the various booths across the country, must be halted.
The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin subsequently questioned the legitimacy of the directive when the 2022 Budget had not been approved, but his concerns were ignored.
But appearing in Parliament today, Mr. Amoah-Attah said he was forced to call for the cessation of the collection of tolls because of pockets of violence that occurred in parts of the country following the presentation of the Budget by the Finance Minister.
“Most road users refused to pay road tolls at all the locations with booths throughout the country during that period, there was confusion between road users and collectors.
“In order to save lives and properties at those locations, a directive was issued for the suspension of the collection of tolls,” he stated.
Listen to the audio below: