The United Nations (UN) Eminent Peace Ambassador and the Country Director for International Association of World Peace Advocates, Ghana Chapter, Dr Samuel Owusu, has called on the government to bring back the collection of road tolls so that government can still generate money from road users to develop the country.
He observed that ever since the suspension of the collection of the road tolls, a lot of money has been lost, saying that the money could have been used to develop the country.
The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori Atta, announced that government has abolished all road tolls. Presenting the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government on the floor of Parliament on Wednesday, 17th November 2021, the Minister mentioned that a new levy will be imposed to make the toll paying more universal.
He mentioned that over the years, the tolling points have become unhealthy market centres, leading to heavy traffic on our roads.
He added that the toll booths have also lengthened travel time from one place to another, and impacted negatively on productivity.
Since then, the collection of tolls have been suspended.
Preaching at the Pottersville Church International, East Legon on Sunday, March 6, Dr Samuel Owusu said: “If we can, let Parliament bring back the collection of the tolls, no one is complaining that we cannot pay toll fee.”
He continued that, “For the past two months that we stopped the collection, we could have used that money for something. I have learnt that the school feeding money is being delayed, that of the NHIS is also becoming an issue, Please bring back the collection of road tolls.”
Raising money for development
Dr Samuel Owusu urged the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to call on pastors, business men, companies, and rich men in Ghana to support the government raise money to develop the nation.
Although he is not against taxation, he was of the belief that the e-levy should be taken from the aforementioned persons and not the ordinary Ghanaian, hence the call.
“You and your leaders should appeal to all pastors and leaders, including rich individuals to help Ghana. You should call on Individuals, pastors and companies to support you financially,” he said.
He recalled that most of the former Presidents, including Mr John Agyekum Kufuor, the late John Evans Atta Mills, and Mr John Dramani Mahama called on people in the country for help when they needed it, calling on the President to do same.
“We have seen an individual purchase a car with 3 million Dollars, if we call on that person, won’t he donate same to help the country? If some individuals can build houses, prison facilities and others, can’t they support the government.
Please call all the pastors, and businessmen, call us and we will support you,” he said.
He added that, “There are men in this country who can contribute to develop this nation without taking money from the poor. Call those who have bought big cars, those who have money, and pastors to help.”
Dr Samuel Owusu also said those who flout traffic rules should be given an immediate fine so that when they pay, the money can be used to develop the country.
That, he said, will also serve as a deterrent to others who go against traffic rules.
Dr Samuel Owusu again called on government to make Free SHS a law, so that it would not be changed by incoming governments.
He said if it is changed, some parents cannot afford it due to the hardship they are facing.
“Please make free SHS a law before you leave office, so that any President that will come to Ghana cannot just change it,” he urged the President.
He also encouraged the President to reshuffle his Ministers in order to preserve his legacy and integrity, saying that most of them are tired already.
“Some of your people are tired, when they are presenting statements on the E-levy, look at them, look at the Finance Minister, he is tired, he has implemented all his vision, please do reshuffling, bring in some people, we beg you,” he said.
Dr Samuel Owusu continued that, “Some others are equally good and capable, some have best ideas, they have best knowledge, sometimes all it takes in leadership is just one alignment, just let some people sit down. There are some people, when they sit down, the work will move up, and the next people will be serious.”