Minister of Roads and Highways Kwasi Amoako-Atta has failed to account for the amount of revenue lost between the time he announced the cancellation of roads tolls and the approval of the 2022 budget statement.
In Parliament on Friday, March 4, Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament Governs Kwame Agbodza wanted to know the amount of revenue lost between the time the directive was given – in the evening of the reading of the 2022 budget statement on Wednesday, November 17, 2021 – and its approval on Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
“Mr Speaker, I rise to ask the Minister for Roads and Highways what is the estimated loss of revenue, till date, due to the cessation of collection of bridge and road tolls as contained in the Ministry’s press release dated 17th November 2021.”
But Mr Amoako-Atta, who is also Member of Parliament (MP) for Atiwa West Constituency, could not give figures and only said road tolls have been zero-rated as a result of the approval of the budget.
He insisted that his directive was to avoid loss of lives and destruction of properties at toll booths due to the confusion provoked by the announcement in the budget read by the Finance Minister.
“Mr Speaker, with the approval of the 2022 budget, effectively road tolls have been zero-rated and there will be no revenue in 2022 for road tolls,” he answered.
This did not go down well with Mr Agbodza, who is also MP for Adaklu, as he explained that the budget statement was not approved on the same day it was presented and that the Minister cannot say there was no revenue lost.
“Mr Speaker,” the NDC MP replied, “the Minister announced the cessation of collection of tolls before the budget was approved. Mr Speaker, for the record, there would have been revenue loss at least until the day the budget was approved.
“So, the Minister’s answer can’t be accurate.”