Mr Kwame Governs Agbodza, the Minority Chief Whip in Parliament, has declared that the Minority will not support any increase in road tolls unless the funds generated are solely used for road-related expenses.
He explained that funds generated from road tolls cannot be diverted to finance other projects such as the National Cathedral. Mr. Agbodza made these remarks during an interview with Joy FM’s Top Story on Tuesday.
“In my view, unless we can prove that whatever we charge as road toll will entirely to be used on road-related expenditure, the Minority will not support this. Because we can’t pay money for building roads and somebody uses it for cathedral,” he said.
“Basically, in the 2023 Budget as you can see, the government is projecting that for instance, the road fund will generate GHC2.4 billion but if you go to the Appendix 3(c) –the expenditure section, you will see that they are only going to spend about 1 billion cedis on roads.
“In other words, we use the name of roads to collect money from the public and then we take the majority of that money and spend it elsewhere.”
He further stated that the Minority would oppose any amendment to the Capping and Realignment Act as long as it remains a factor in the road fund.
“The Minority will never support the amendment if the Capping and Realignment Act is still on the road fund,” he said.
Mr. Agbodza also highlighted the public’s disenchantment with the current road toll collection system, noting that the Capping and Realignment Act has made matters worse.
He pointed out that road users pay for the construction and maintenance of roads but receive little value in return.
While he is not against the reintroduction of road tolls, Mr. Agbodza stated that the consultation process must be more inclusive and may require a review of the Road Toll Act.