Opinions of Thursday, 24 August 2017
Columnist: Emmanuel Kwabena Wucharey
The announcement of a compulsory towing levy in Ghana was vehemently rejected by vehicle owners and drivers alike. Many people offered their suggestions as to how such a levy must be determined in order that no severe tax burden will be placed on the shoulders of drivers and vehicle owners. Such a policy was not seen as irrelevant by stakeholders in the transport business but the design and implementation of the policy was pregnant with difficult to understand questions. The apportionment of the revenue to be accrued by the service providers does have serious flaws.
As such many a people concerned with the value and dignity of human life called for the review of the law passed by the Parliament of Ghana. The call was not out of place as the process is a bit vague and the content not well explained to the citizens. Those who made the law should have explicitly outline the processes of implementing the law by giving enough information and details. The policy as we are made aware has several considerable benefits to the people of the country and foreign nationals who ply on our roads.
The loss of lives on our roads caused by stationary and broken-down vehicles for instance, should be a source of worry to warrant the design and promulgation of such a law to curb such menace on our roads. While it is true that the implementation of such a policy alone does not have the panacea to road accidents, it will provide a major source of amelioration on the cause of road accidents in the country.
People of not little knowledge have confirmed the damaging effects stationary vehicles had caused them as many friends, family and acquaintances have been lost. The extended effects of broken down vehicles on the lives of people and the economy cannot be overlooked as people who contribute to the development of the country through the payment of taxes and other contribution are usually wiped out.
Road users stand to go through difficult experiences if the issue of stationary vehicles are not tackled well. The negative consequences of such a phenomenon if to be listed will form a book on its own. The call by the citizens of our republic to review the law and policy should not lead to its total withdrawal for further consideration by factoring in inputs and concerns of the Driver Unions, Drivers, Vehicle Owners, Pedestrians etc. This is because the withdrawal of such a law will not provide the needed solution to solving the identified problems often caused by broken down vehicles.
This issue must not be taken lightly at all as it presents with itself a plethora of devastating consequences on the lives of the people of the state. As it happened to others, it can happen to us. The recent accident suffered by a football club and the many others recounted by people in the past should be sources of evidence for us in our learning curve. People’s lives should be considered valuable by our law making body through the enactment of laws that protect them from such catastrophic incidents.
The issue of politics should not be a factor in the determination of the right path to solving a serious life problem for the citizen of a country. This law should be taken seriously by all stakeholders.
A law of such nature must not be put on hold permanently at all as the solutions to the problems it seeks to address are not within reach if such an option is made. By withdrawing this law permanently should inform all of us as a people that we are making a choice between life and death . If life is chosen, it will be better and best for our country and economy. If death, then the consequences must be accommodated as such. Is the withdrawal of the towing levy permanent?
By: Emmanuel Kwabena Wucharey
B.A. I.D.S (Economics and Entrepreneurship Dev)
Dip in Education