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General News of Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Source: The National Forum

Toll robbery; as State appears helpless

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Undercover investigations by The National Forum (TNF) have revealed massive daylight looting of state cash at the toll booths on the country's highways, leading to loss of millions of Ghana cedis to the state.

As it is often said that crime knows no bound, the corruption in the public sector really has no ends.

If anyone was under the impression that the fight against corruption was about getting over and done with, then they better gird their loins for more turbulent and killing revelations of corrupt deeds.

Despite the wide public outcry, the condemnation and lamentations from senior public office holders including the president who described corruption as 'mass murder', nation wrecking act still manifests itself in broad-day light.

What is even sad about it is that this robbery is done without a gun pointed at head of anyone but rather helplessly the Ghanaian is made a victim.

This gangster robbery is takes place every second, minute, hour and 24hrs all year round in cycle.

It is happening on country's highways, feeder roads, rough roads, asphalt road and even on the motorway which is the most patronized.

The simple ticketing at the toll booths ranging from 50pesewas to GhC4 has become an avenue to milk the sacred cow to death.

A 14days monitoring of Booth 4 of the Accra-Tema Motorway

Date Ticket No. Time Amount Booth No. Attendant 07/10/2014 29,523 18:4 50p 4 George Hammond

08/10/2014 34,974 20:22 50p 4 George Hammond

09/10/2014 39,799 20:23 50p 4 Samuel Boakye Gyamfi

10/10/2014 42,504 12:51 50p 4 James Kasapa Kasapa

10/10/2014 45,339 20:53 50p 4 Susana Banful

11/10/2014 53,566 20:06 50p 4 Victory Frimpong

13/10/2014 56,636 15:03 50p 4 Charlotte Acheampomaa

13/10/2014 58,464 20:13 50p 4 Bridget Kutortse

14/10/2014 61,116 12:52 50p 4 Ernest Asante Oppong

15/10/2014 68,664 22:04 50p 4 James Kasapa Kasapa

16/10/2014 72,199 16:33 50p 4 Samuel Boakye Gyamfi

17/10/2014 78,933 20:27 50p 4 Charlotte Acheampomaa

19/10/2014 86,401 16:02 50p 4 Rebecca Krampa

20/10/2014 91,787 18:36 50p 4 Mensa Freda

1. No. of Cars in 14days = 91,787 - 29,523 = 62,264×50p = 31,132 for the saloon that traversed the Motorway on condition that there is only Booth 4 and the Motorway is a one-way traffic.

2. Considering the fact that 50p is the minimum paid and that the toll ranges even up to GHC10 and therefore using a modest average of GHC1.50p

For the 62,264 cars in 14days, 62,264×1.50p = 93,396

In a month = 186,792

In a year = GHC 2,241,504

The effect of the above computation based on real higher figures any further shows how the sacred cow is on daily basis being milked dead.

Interestingly, this has never come up in any Auditor-General findings perhaps because we underestimate the poll paid per car especially the saloon ones.

If the A-G would address itself to the volume of cars instead of dwelling their neglect on the figures per car, it would be in the highest national interest.

Another state institution which should of necessity be interested in this daylight robbery is the Ghana Revenue Authority.

It is the duty of that agency to generate revenue for the State in pursuit of the nation's hopes and aspirations. One wonders why such colossal amounts would be going down the drain while state hired officers look on unconcerned.

The Ministry of Roads and Highways as well as its agency Ghana Road Fund assigned the responsibility of tolling on the country's highways should explain why the figures we record are so low.

Some analysts and engineers TNF spoke to believe that if there were transparency and proper accountability with monies realised in the tolling area, state could construct additional motorways beyond proper maintenance of the existing one.

The mouth-watering figures above are coming from just one booth in one direction of the motorway.

The reality is that the motorway is made up of opposite sides with each having 4 booths. The multiple effects could possibly put an able spirited body to sleep.

It is incredible and matter of serious worry that such an activity can escape public scrutiny.

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