Politics

Reverse ban on road tolls – Speaker directs Road Minister

The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has directed the Minister for Roads and Highways to reverse a directive that has caused the cessation of road and bridge toll collection across the country.

According to the Speaker, the directive by the Minister emanating from policies contained in the 2022 budget undermines the authority of the house.

Ken Ofori Atta whilst presenting the 2022 budget said government intends to cease the collection of tolls at various public roads and bridges across the country with the objective of easing traffic congestion.

He further stated that the government will in turn explore other mediums of mobilizing revenue for national development.

The Roads and Highways Minister, Kwaku Amoako Atta, in a release some few hours after the Finance Minister’s presentation parliament directed that the collection of tolls on public roads and bridges cease effective 12 am midnight November 18, 2021.

Speaking in parliament some few hours after the directive came into effect, Mr. Alban Bagbin said the ban on toll collection which was contained in the budget was only a policy proposal that would come into effect in January 2022, pending the approval of parliament.

“Those are policy proposals that the minister presented to the house. Until they are approved, nobody and I mean nobody, has the authority to start implementing something that doesn’t exist,” the Speaker said.

Mr Bagbin however stated that he does not believe that the minister meant to disrespect the house but rather saw it to be a misunderstanding of the law on the part of the minister.

“It is for us to draw his attention and tell him that you have no such authority,” he added.

The speaker said the directive by the minister lacks legislative backing and therefore cannot be implemented.

He urged the minister to “honourably” withdraw the directive warning that failure to do so will be a serious breach of the directive of the Speaker amounting to a contempt of Parliament.

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