Security and safety analyst, Dr. Adam Bonaa, has defended the suspension of road and bridge toll collection by the Ministry of Roads and Highways citing security reasons.
Speaking in an interview with GhanaWeb, Dr Bonaa justified that the immediate suspension of the tolls following the presentation of the 2022 budget was right as it helped ease pressure on the security service.
“For security reasons, this was the right thing to do bearing in mind that the police are overstretched. Those who heard that the road tolls were going to be scrapped, just imagine the chaos that would have unfolded if this was not done immediately.
“In some locations around the country, the toll collectors themselves, some of them have come out to say the drivers were arguing with them and drivers were being confrontational. Obviously because some people heard that the tolls had been scrapped even though it was yet to be done. So I would say that that for security reasons, this was the right thing to do,” he stated.
The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta on November 17, 2021, presented before the parliament of Ghana government’s expenditure and revenue mobilization plans for the year 2022.
Ken Ofori Atta stated that the decision to close toll centres across the country was premised on the belief that the establishment of tolling points has contributed to heavy vehicular traffic and lengthened travel time, which has negatively impacted productivity and time.
By the evening of the finance minister’s budget presentation in parliament, the Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwaku Amoako Atta in a statement directed the cessation of toll collection across the country.
The directive by the minister was to take effect at midnight on November 18, 2021 and was to see the cessation of toll collection on public roads and bridges across the country.
Meanwhile a former Minister for Roads and Highways, Inusah Fuseini has accused the current roads minister of causing financial loss to the state.
But responding from the security point, Dr Adam Bonaa said, “the toll collectors who are agitating and some persons who are saying the minister shouldn’t have done that, it is as if to say that he should have allowed the chaos to be widespread where we were going to send police officers who are to catch criminals and defend all of us to tollbooths to ensure that toll collectors are not molested and beaten up.”
“As far as I am concerned, I believe this was the right decision to take and I believe the minister took it for the best of reasons to ensure that we didn’t find ourselves in a very chaotic situation nationwide,” he added.