Ghana: Agbodza Not Enthused About Govt's Intent to Charge Road Tolls

Kwame Agbodza, the Ranking Member for the Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament, is not enthused about the government's intent to charge road tolls after the completion of expansion works on the Tema Motorway Road.

He described the move as annoying, the Minister of Finance should probably resign for introducing unfavourable policies and his attempt to bring tolling debt was reason why he should probably resign.

"There are inconsistencies in Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance mid-year review of the Budget Statement and Economic Policy because he has not been sincere about the details of the Tema Motorway Expansion Project and his insincerity, lack of candour, and inconsistencies are amazing," he decried.

According to him, in the 2021 Budget Statement and Economic Policy Mr Ofori-Atta listed many roads, referred to the motorway project as 31.7 kilometres which the government had already signed an agreement to construct the Tema Motorway Road and in the mid-year review, he stated procurement processes were ongoing for the construction of the motorway.

Mr Agbodza, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Adaklu Constituency in the Volta Region, questioned the kind of inconsistencies being dealt with and who goes to start the procurement processes after signing contracts which he was amazed about since collection of road tolls nationwide was stopped as part of policy announcement in the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy, rendering several road toll collectors jobless.

He was skeptical of the September 2022 date for the start of the Accra-Tema Motorway Expansion Project and insisted that the government could not be trusted because "if Parliament rises, the House may return in October, for the government to be able to conduct open competitive bidding, select suitable contractor to be able to sign the contract and move to site will go beyond September.

"When completed, the Concession Agreement is expected to be approved by the Public Private Partnership Committee, Cabinet and Parliament but the Minority in Parliament will scrutinise processes leading to the commencement of the project, "if the government will borrow the money to construct it, Ghanaian contractors must be involved, they must also pay toll workers who they sacked and did not pay them what is due them before discussions," Mr Agbodza implored.

However, Kennedy Osei Nyarko, the Chairman of the Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament, maintained that he had not seen the agreement for the expansion project and the government had not tabled any agreement but had only shown intentions of engaging a private company using the Public Private Agreement to construct the project.

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