No concrete decision yet on road tolls – Ministry of Finance
The Ministry of Finance has called for circumspection on public discussion on its proposal for a more than 88 per cent increase in road tolls.
The ministry said the amounts quoted in its leaked letter to the Ministry of Roads and Highways “are only proposals to be subjected to consultations and approvals at appropriate levels.”
It said in a release issued today, Wednesday that similar consultations would be held with other stakeholders before a concrete decision would be arrived at.
The ministry explained that the letter only sought to convey proposed rates for the tolling of roads and highways to Ministry of Roads and Highway.
It stressed that the reintroduction of road toll was a fiscal policy measure captured in the 2023 Budget Statement and Economic Policy to support revenue generation
It, therefore, called on the media to be circumspect in discussing the issue.
In leaked letter, the Ministry of Finance had proposed that road tolls be raised by an average of 88 per cent as part of efforts towards ensuring a return of the levies that were abolished in November 2022.
As part of the proposal, the ministry want motorbikes to be levied 50pesewas compared to an earlier amount of 10pesewas.
It also wants tolls of salon cars to rise from 50pesewas to GH¢1 while that of Pick-ups and 4X4 vehicles will increase to GH¢1 to GH¢1.50.
Heavy buses are also to be levied GH¢2, up from the previous figure of GH¢1.50, while heavy duty trucks with five or more axles will be asked to pay GH¢3 compared to an earlier fee of GH¢2.
Fees for other categories of vehicles were also proposed in the letter signed by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, and addressed to the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, regarding the proposal.
Mr Ofori-Atta said in the letter that the proposal was part of steps to provide foundational rates for tolling roads and highways, pending the completion of processes to identify roads and highways nationwide to be affected by the reintroduction of road tolls.
Although an age-old income generation mechanism for the state, road tolls were abolished abruptly in November 2021 after the reading of the 2022 Budget Statement.
It led to protests by toll collectors, who said their source of livelihood had been curtailed.
The Ministry of Roads and Highways then pledged to redeploy them to other areas, a pledge that the workers say was yet to be fulfilled.
The sector minister also later said the tollbooths across the country would be converted into washrooms for road users.
In the 2023 Budget, however, the Finance Minister said government would work to reintroduce the levies as a revenue generation measure.
The tolls were accruing an average of GH¢180 million per year.