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General News of Sunday, 6 August 2017


State being irresponsible with controversial tow levy – Franklin Cudjoe

The President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe believes the State is essentially washing its hand off ensuring discipline and safety on roads with its controversial nationwide towing programme.

Mr. Cudjoe was speaking on The Big Issue, where he also described the 20-year duration of the programme as “silly”.

“The issue really has always had to do with the arrangement. I think 20 years is too much. This is a short term issue. The fact that we are accepting as a State that we are abdicating our role in ensuring safety on our roads and deciding that we will rather outsource to a company… they want to outsource this because the state system has collapsed in terms of maintaining law and order on our roads,” Mr. Cudjoe said.

His advice to government is that it “takes the whole deal back again” adding that “I am not sure that a 20 year deal like this makes sense.”

“If we are talking maybe three of five years because you believe that you will be working towards making sure that the rules will be obeyed on our roads, maybe yes, but 20 years is just too much… The state is essentially suggesting to us through Parliament that we will never get anything right.”

The Ministry of Transport has come out to say it has not yet taken any decision on the implementation of the programme.

More companies should go through tender process

As part of possible changes to the deal, Mr. Cudjoe suggested that “the companies involved must be more than one and they must go through proper tendering processes.”

The sole company contracted by the National Road Safety Commission’s (NRSC) for the programme is Road Safety Management Services Limited.

The commission explained that other towing companies were assessed for possible involvement in the programme but lacked the requisite capacity. Road Safety Management Services, on the other hand, is reported to have already acquired some 118 trucks ahead of the implementation of the programme.

Thus settling on Road Safety Management Limited was the convenient option for the NRSC, though Road Safety Management Limited is expected to as a regulator of the smaller towing companies which will also be involved in the programme.

The towing programme is to ensure that all vehicles that breakdown on highways are cleared off the roads. Drivers are required to pay a road safety levy ranging between GHc 10 and GHc 200.

Commercial vehicles and taxis will pay GHc40, mini buses will pay GHc80, while heavy duty trucks will pay between GHc80 and GHc200 annually, depending on their tonnage. Non-commercial vehicles are expected to pay GHc20.