The Minority in Parliament has indicated its resolve to oppose a supposed plan by the government to increase road tolls again in a bid to fund road construction and maintenance.
The Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament, Governs Kwame Agbodza, said his side is interested in helping the government to raise funds to support the roads sector, but it will only do that if the government removes the cap it has placed on the Road Fund.
“The Roads Minister is unable to tell the Finance Minister to decap the Road Fund. In the 2021 budget, the Finance Ministry agreed that the Road Fund gets about GH¢1.8 billion, but only GH¢1 billion will be available. The Finance Ministry takes the [remaining] money away and uses it for consumption.”
“We agree with government that we must get more resources to the Roads Ministry to improve our roads, we will support the government in that endeavour, but we will not support the government to increase road tolls unless the government is able to de-cap the road fund and give all that money to the Roads Ministry, and then we can discuss the gap that will be left. Till then, they cannot get the support of our side of the house to increase road tolls,” he warned.
Parliament is yet to approve a proposed upward review of the current road toll in the country.
During the presentation of the 2021 budget statement, the government noted that the funds to be generated from the new road tolls would be used to improve and maintain the conditions of the roads in the country.