Ghana: Taxes On Fuel Must Go, GPRTU Reacts to 2022 Budget

19 November 2021

Drivers at the Neoplan and Odawna stations at Circle in Accra have described the scrapping of road tolls by government as "highly unnecessary."

According to them, abolishing all tolls on roads meant that the poor states of some roads across the country were going to remain the same.

They argued that government should rather focus on taking off taxes, levies and margins on petroleum products and not the abolishment of tolls because it is not every vehicle that uses the toll booths.

This follows the abolishment of tolls with immediate effect by the government on highways in the country

According to them the minimal amount of 50Gp was paid by taxis and private vehicles and GH₵1 paid by mini buses and commercial vehicles while between GH₵2 and GH₵5 were paid by heavy duty and cargo trucks.

They contended that the better roads are within communities and those people do not pay tolls as such, it abolishment would not serve any purpose.

Speaking with the Ghanaian Times, the Ghana Private Road Transport Union(GPRTU) of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Chief Inspector Shandolf Ansu stated that taking off the tolls were irrelevant as drivers needed a reduction in fuel prices.

He stated that "the taxes on the fuel must be removed for the prices of fuel to reduce but tolls should have been maintained so that the monies can be used for the construction of better roads."

Although some debunked the new initiative by the government others were in support to the fact that the tolls must be free.

The GPRTU Second Trustee at the Odawna Lorry Station, Alhaji Ayuba, stated that "the removal of the toll would be better because ever since they started taking the money the roads have not seen any proper maintenance, as such, must be removed."

He indicated that "even those paying are not enjoying its worth because they have to stay in queues while those who don't pay enjoy free ride because they have the best roads in their communities."

A driver, Isaac Kweku Brefo, agreed to the toll free initiative and added that "fuel and other payments they make on their cars be reduced." Since times have changed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and have affected their incomes drastically day-in and day-out.

Mr Ken Ofori-Atta in presenting the budget in Parliament in Accra on Wednesday noted that tolling points had over the years become unhealthy market centres, leading to heavy traffic on our roads, long travel time from one place to another, and had negatively impacted on productivity.

He said the congestion generated at the tolling points also led to pollution in and around those vicinities.

Mr Ofori-Atta indicated that in addressing those challenges, government would abolish all tolls on public roads and bridges and this would be effective immediately the budget is approved.

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