The Minority in Parliament has warned that it is determined to oppose a plan by the government to increase road tolls again in order to fund road construction and maintenance.
Governs Kwame Agbodza, a Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament for the Minority, said his side is willing to help the government raise funds for the roads sector, however, that will only be possible if the government takes off 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.
The House is yet to approve an upward review of the current road toll in the country.
Government has already indicated in the 2021 budget statement, that the funds to be raised from the new road tolls would be used for improving and maintaining the conditions of the roads in the country.