We didn’t mean to scrap the law on road tolls – Roads and Highways Ministry clarifies

The Roads Ministry has said it suspended road tolls in the country on Thursday to avoid chaos at toll booths following the reading of the 2022 budget.

Kwasi Amoako-Atta, Minister of Roads and Highway

According to the Ministry, the directive was to the effect of stopping the operational duties of toll collection due to some unfortunate events that occurred at various toll booths on Wednesday.

The Ministry in a statement explained that many road users insisted on not paying road tolls, and that some even engaged in near fisticuffs with toll collectors on Wednesday after the Ministry of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta announced before Parliament that the government had abolished road tolls.

“Unfortunately, the Minister of Finance’s statement either got misunderstood or misinterpreted by some motorists, as many of them deemed the statement as having immediate effect and therefore decided not to pay the road and bridge tolls. The insistence of the toll collected to have the tolls paid caused serious confusion and in some cases, resulted in fisticuffs and damage to lives and property,” the statement said.

“The Ministry wish to assure that the action taken was to suspend the operationalization of the collection of the tolls and not to suspend the law,” the statement clarified.

It comes after the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, ordered the Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta to immediately withdraw a press release calling for the cessation of collection of road tolls.

The order follows a statement by Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu who called the attention of the House on the development and accused the Minister of Roads and Highways of usurping the powers of Parliament whose enactment birthed the tolls.

“Mr. Speaker, I think we take a serious view of the conduct of the Minister for Roads as it is an attempt to usurp the powers and mandate of this august house. To suggest as if, this country is not governed by law while he is in a hurry to carry the directives of the President, he cannot be in a hurry to usurp the mandate of this house. And be in a hurry to reverse legislation that this august have not so approved.”

The Ministry said the decision of Kwesi Amoako-Atta to direct the suspension of the collection of tolls was therefore to “avert further unfortunate incidents.”

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