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Tollbooth closure: ‘Parliament must act now before they become toothless’ – Chief Biney

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta presenting the 2022 budget statement and economic policy of the government in Parliament announced that motorists who ply public roads nationwide will no longer be required to pay road tolls after the budget has been approved.

No more road tolls

Government has scrapped the amount of money being paid by motorists as tolls on public roads in the country. This should come as a relief for road vehicle users given the heavy vehicular traffic, lengthened travel time and ineffective revenue collection at tolling points on our public roads.

This was announced by the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta in his presentation of the 2022 budget statement and economic policy to Parliament on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.

Explaining the rationale behind the scraping of the road tolls, the Minister said the revenue that accrues to the state for the construction and maintenance of roads is inadequate and hence, the government has to look elsewhere to equitably generate revenues for the construction and maintenance of our roads.

Contempt of Parliament

Speaking on the floor of Parliament Thursday [Nov 18, 2021], Mr Bagbin said until Parliament approved the financial proposals and policies contained in the 2022 budget, no minister could implement any policy contained in the budget.

“So, I think that it is proper for us to direct the minister, a senior member of this House, to honourably withdraw that directive; failure to do so will be a serious breach of the directive of the Speaker and that will amount to contempt of Parliament,” he said.

Usurping Parliament’s authority

The Speaker gave the directive after the Minority Leader, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, had expressed reservation against the directive by the Roads and Highways Minister for the cessation of the collection of road and bridge tolls at all locations nationwide, effective from 12am on Thursday, November 18, 2021.

He cited paragraph 247 on page 60 of the budget statement where the Minister of Finance categorically proposed for charges on all road tolls to be removed on all public roads “effectively, immediately the budget is approved by Parliament.”

He, therefore, urged the House to take a serious view of the conduct and directive of the minister since what he did was “an attempt to usurp the power of this august House.”

Chief Biney’s call to parliament

Deputy National Organizer of the largest opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Chief Nixon Hamilton Biney,
has asked parliament to act now before they become toothless in the eyes of Ghanaians.

Read below a post he made on his Facebook wall Tuesday afternoon:

Parliament of Ghana must act now before they become toothless in the eyes of the people.

The state has stopped collecting tolls for some day’s now, and as a citizen, I would like to know if the Law, Tolls Act NRCD 153 as amended 1999 Act 570 passed by the parliament and accented to for Ghanaian road users to pay road toll can be removed by a Minister of state without parliamentary approval?





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