Bawumia Proposes Reintroduction of Road Tolls

The flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has suggested the introduction of a broad-based road toll system, to improve road infrastructure in the country.

According to Dr Bawumia, who is also the Vice President, the government alone cannot fund road projects which is capital intensive, hence the need to allow private sector participation.

Speaking during his campaign tour in the Volta Region, Dr Bawumia, said a broadened reintroduction of the tolling regime, would provide the needed revenue for infrastructure development.

“Let us go back to a system of broad-based road tolls. The tolling system has to come back, and I think it will come back.

“It is a fundamental mistake of the government to place all road projects on the budget. The government doesn’t have enough money and the private sector has to be brought in,” he said.

He indicated that the government currently lacks the necessary funding for infrastructure development and suggested that innovative solutions, such as road tolling, could offer a viable solution.

The NPP presidential candidate said, the private sector could help supplement road toll revenue to provide the necessary road maintenance support. He underscores the need to reconsider government’s approach to funding road infrastructure.

He proposed a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the road sector, where the government will lease such projects to the business community which has the capacity to Build, Operate and Transfer [BOT].

Fundamental Mistakes

Dr Bawumia, said such strategies could be replicated in other sectors of the economy, such as education to resolve the funding gaps that have been a burden on government.

“The problem in the area of roads is that government is making a fundamental mistake, by trying to put the entire road budget on the national budget; we would not have enough money if you did that. I believe that the private sector has to be brought into the road sector and other sectors of the economy. Government can rent or lease and after the private builds the infrastructure we can pay little by little. Let us go back the system of broad-based road tolling. We can put the tolls in one pot and pay the private sector out of it”, he said.

Dr Bawumia mentioned that the private sector, would offer a lease payment option to help deliver the necessary infrastructure for the nation, similar to their support in advancing the country’s digital agenda.

In 2022, the then Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, announced the government’s decision to abolish road tolls in a bid to ease traffic congestion on major roads.

Mr Ofori-Atta announced the policy shift during that year’s budget presentation in Parliament.

The move was heavily criticized, but government stood on it grounds and began destroying the toll booths and promised to reengage physically challenged persons who manned the booths.

Earlier, the Roads and Highways Minister, Francis Asenso Boakye, gave the hint of reopening the toll booths, during his tour of some roads after he was reshuffled from the Works and Housing Ministry in February by President Akufo-Addo.

Meanwhile, the flagbearer outlined his vision for the country if elected as president in the December elections, saying he would expand agriculture, ensure power sufficiency, and reform the tax region.

He also indicated the need to formally identify the church for its role in national development, adding it would be provided with the needed support.

Chairman of the Christian Council in the region, Rev. Seth Mawutor, said the peace of the nation must be protected throughout the election period and that the Council would continue to provide the needed support.

The vice president’s tour, also afforded him the opportunity to meet with the Muslim communities and also the Regional House of Chiefs. He also engaged the youth in Ho Technical University.

The NPP Flagbearer, rounded up his tour of the Region with an engagement with the Party’s grassroot, dubbed “Youth Connect” at the Ho Technical University, where he shared his achievements and vision for the youth of the country.

In the company of the Vice President, was the leadership of the NPP, including Mr Stephen Ayesu Ntim, National Chairman, and also Stephen Asamoah Boateng, the Minister for Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs.

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