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General News of Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Source: citifmonline.com

Senior Minister to meet companies on towing levy

Barely three weeks after government halted the implementation of the controversial mandatory towing levy, Senior Minister; Yaw Osafo Maafo, is set to meet the various towing companies in Accra.

The meeting which is aimed at deliberating on the way forward on how to remove broken down vehicles on the road has been slated for September 7, 2017.

A public notice issued by the Ministry of Information said the meeting will be held at the Office of the President Annex, near the Passport Office in Accra.

The statement said: “In line with government’s efforts to remove the hazard of broken down/disabled vehicles on our roads, the Ministry of Transport invites all companies engaged in towing services to a meeting as follows: Thursday 7th September, 2017. Time: 3pm. Venue: Office of the Senior Minister.”

Background

Statistics from the Road Safety Commission revealed that broken down vehicles accounted for a huge number of accidents on Ghanaian roads. Following this revelation, the government of Ghana approved a nationwide towing programme in 2012, but it was to take effect on July 2017.

Commercial vehicles and taxes were to pay GH¢40, mini buses were to pay GH¢80, while heavy duty trucks were to pay between GH¢80 and GH¢200 annually, depending on their tonnage, and have the Road Safety Management Services Limited (RSMSL) tow their vehicles anytime it breaks down on the road.

Non-commercial vehicles were expected to pay GH¢20.

But most Ghanaians kicked against the levy claiming it was a total rip-off, and that individuals must be made to pay for broken down vehicles to be towed, rather than a mandatory levy across board.

Others also questioned why the contract was given to one company for the next twenty years.

Following the massive public uproar, the Akufo-Addo government halted the implementation of the policy.

A statement signed by the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, explained that government took the decision after “extensive consultations between the Minister of Transport and stakeholders in the transport sector.”

It however served notice there was going to be further consultations on the best way to deal with the challenge of broken down vehicles going forward.