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Business News of Wednesday, 26 May 2021


Oppong Nkrumah makes case for road tolls increment

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister for Information Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister for Information

Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah is making a strong case for road tolls to be increased in order to fund road projects in the country.

This comes after the Minority in Parliament said they will resist plans by the government to increase road tolls again for the purposes of funding road construction and maintenance.

The Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament, Governs Kwame Agbodza, said at a press conference in Parliament on Tuesday, May 25 that the government should remove the cap it has placed on the Road Fund.

“The Roads Minister is unable to tell the Finance Minister to decap the Road Fund. In the 2021 budget, the Finance Ministry agreed that the Road Fund gets about GH¢1.8 billion, but only GH¢1 billion will be available. The Finance Ministry takes the [remaining] money away and uses it for consumption.

“We agree with government that we must get more resources to the Roads Ministry to improve our roads, we will support the government in that endeavour, but we will not support the government to increase road tolls unless the government is able to de-cap the road fund and give all that money to the Roads Ministry, and then we can discuss the gap that will be left. Till then, they cannot get the support of our side of the house to increase road tolls,” he warned.

But speaking in an interview with Dzifa Bampoh on the First Take on 3FM Tuesday, May 25, Mr Oppong Nkrumah who is also lawmaker for Ofoase Ayirebi said “My road from Oda to Ofoase has been in a terrible state. We now have a contractor on it, who has done a lot of work started putting bitumen on some portions of the road. Even if you did 4000Km I will complain that my road has not been done. So it will be a bit simplistic to say that the fact that he says some have been done and other people complaining means nothing, no.

“I think that what we need to do is to really confront this conversation. What do we all need to do? We need to hold the politician accountable. Mr Minister, you said 11000 out of which you will finish 6000. Take the tough decisions and ensure that is done.

“Contractors and consultants, they have to do their part but we the citizens as well when that conversation is tied up on how to fund what is outstanding on this I think we also need to come to the table and say we are willing to pay an extra 10 percent to get it done. Then, when they take the money and don’t do it we can all go on alluta.”