General News

Absence of toll booth attendants on Weija-Kasoa-Cape Coast highway generate heated debates

The absence of attendants at the Kasoa toll booth in the wee hours of today [November 18,2021] generated heated discussions among passengers in a Mercedes Benz Sprinter bus with registration number GW 8354-21.

When the driver got to the toll booth at about 4:55 am, he honked the horn but there was no response as the toll booth was shut.

This scenario, caught the attention of the passengers and sparked the discussions. While some of the passengers thought it was a good thing, a woman who claimed to be a trader said she was not happy because “the street hawkers and toll booth attendants may lose their daily bread”.

The woman who spoke Twi further cautioned that “Ghanaians should brace themselves for more hardships because if the revenues are no longer coming from the toll booths, the citizens will pay through increases in petroleum products”.

At this point, some two men seated at the rear of the vehicle then interrupted the woman and told her that in their view, “Ghanaians will pay for this development through the Electronic, e-levies that will be imposed on Mobile money transactions”.

The discussions however ended abruptly when the driver started speeding to the discomfort of the passengers who yelled at him to stop speeding.

A taxi driver at New Mateheko area (Kalabule), Mr Joseph Ayiquaye, told Graphic Online later that “I am happy about this development because it will reduce the traffic situation on this stretch of the road; we will pay taxes in another form but not this way and because of the heavy traffic at the toll booth area I cannot pick passengers who want to hire my services from my area to Spintex for instance; in fact I am losing income on a daily basis”.

Mr Ayiquaye further appealed to government to find ways of reducing prices on petroleum products.

Yesterday (November 17, 2021) at about 8:00pm there was a gridlock around the toll booth area and the area was buzzing with business activities while hawkers also made brisk business.

Already a press release from the Ministry Of Roads and Highways has directed the cessation of the collection of road and bridge tolls at all locations nationwide, effective from 12am on Thursday, November 18, 2021.

The directive follows indications in the 2022 Budget presented to Parliament on Wednesday (yesterday) by the Finance Minister, in which he announced government’s intention to abolish road tolls when the budget is approved.

Benjamin Xornam Glover also reports that toll collectors at the Tema Toll Plaza have asked the government to pay them their outstanding salaries.

The collectors said over the past four to six months they have not been and that they were shocked to hear that the government has asked them to stop work.

Speaking to the Graphic Online on Thursday morning, the collectors described directives to them to stop operations by the Ministry of Roads and Highways as unfortunate.

“We have been working for the last four to six months and our salaries have not been paid. We woke up this morning only to hear that we should stop collecting the tolls. At least this should have been communicated to us much earlier to prepare our minds. We are at a lost and don’t know what to do now,” one lady collector told this reporter.

Mr Emmanuel Gyampo, a toll collector said urged government to ensure that whatever is due them was paid to the workers to enable them cater for their families.

 

 

Source: Graphic

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