Channel Road Fund Levy into asphalt overlay project

The Chamber of Petroleum Consumers (COPEC), believes the road fund levy obtained from 2020 alone should be able to fund the government’s asphalt overlay project.

The Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Attah at a press briefing on Sunday, May 23, 2021, said the government has earmarked GHS 1.9 billion to undertake 1500 km of asphalt overlays in major towns and cities “from now till the end of the second term of Akufo-Addo’s administration.”

COPEC in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Duncan Amoah, welcomed the decision.

It however noted all the principal roads in Ghana can be done from revenues generated from road levy alone by 2024, “going by the available information on principal road networks in Ghana being about 3,809 km.”

It further advised the government to rather use grants and borrowed monies to develop the rural road networks.

“It is a verifiable fact that for every litre of fuel purchased, a levy of 48 pesewas is paid for the construction and maintenance of roads which cumulatively over the years has yielded in excess of GHS 10 billion. Considering the rate of the road fund levy of 48 pesewas per litre of fuel sold, what it means is that in 2020 alone, the government made a direct total collection of GHS 3,975,897,606 x 0.48, amounting to GHS 1,908,430,850.88. Thus, a collection of approximately GHS1.91 billion has been made out of the total sale of fuel in the year 2020 alone.”

The chamber posited that considering the published average cost of asphalting a kilometre of road to be GHS1.1 million, “it is expected that the road fund levy on fuel for 2020 alone should be able to construct a total distance of 1,734 km.

“Conservatively, COPEC expects that a total stretch of about 1,200 km can and should have been constructed from just the collections made for last year alone,” it added.

COPEC bemoaned that, despite the huge collection made from the road fund levy, there is “very little to show as most roads constructed over the period has been from one loan agreement or grant.”

“This revenue stream is simply the road taxes collected from the fuel without factoring that of collections from our toll booths across the country, and we believe these added revenue streams if put to its expected use should make the government able to do a lot more on our roads without a dollar of borrowing though excuses have often been made of using these revenues for loans whose utilization the public is yet to be shown or made aware of.”

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