The Minority Chief Whip, Kwame Governs Agbodza has stated that the Minority in Parliament will not support an increase in the amount charged as road toll unless they are convinced that the proceeds will be used for road-related expenditure.
He explained that monies accrued from the road toll cannot be spent on other activities such as the construction of the National Cathedral.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on Tuesday, he stated that “Minority will never support the amendment if the Capping and Realignment Act is still on the road fund.”
Mr. Agbodza stated that “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”
His comments come against the backdrop of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta having proposed an increment in the amount paid as road toll.
This is part of the steps being taken by the government as it considers reintroducing the tax policy.
According to Mr Agbodza, although the collection of road toll is not new in the country, the public is not enthused about what the funds generated are used for.
He added that the public mistrust got worse when the government introduced the Capping and Realignment Act in 2017.
This, he noted is because road users “feel that they pay some amount of money and that money hardly gets seen in improving the roads in this country.”
“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 pointed out.
The Ranking Member on Parliament’s Road Committee further stated that though he is not against the reintroduction of road toll, it must be done through broader consultation.
He added that the consultation will probably require a review of a section of the Road Toll Act.