Toll workers to embark on series of demonstrations against govt

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Toll workers in Ghana have served notice to begin series of demonstrations starting Thursday June 16 against the government.

According to then, this is to draw attention to the need to protect their jobs after their work was suspended thus causing prolonged hardships and “dislocation to our individual family budgets.”

A letter written to the Police informing them about the planned action said “We plan to begin with a march on Thursday 16th June, 2022 beginning at 09.00hrs in the forenoon from Obra Spot at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, through the Ring Road to Ako Adjei Interchange and then to assemble opposite the main Jubilee House Gate from where members will disperse after presentation of a petition to the President.

“A delegation of the leadership of the PAWU Local Union of Tolls and Routes Management Ltd (TRML) will call on you to discuss Police presence along the routes outlined which will be repeated on 23rd June as well as 30th June, 2022. Estimated number of participants is 400.”

Road toll collections were suspended after the Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta announced in the budget statement an end to the collection of the tolls.

During the presentation of the 2022 budget statement to Parliament on Wednesday November 17, he said this takes effect immediately the Budget is approved.

“A comprehensive review will be conducted after every fifth-year taking into consideration, other factors besides inflation including, improvement in quality of service delivery and privatisation of some of the services, where feasible. Mr. Speaker, our roads need fixing. Our roads are being fixed. It is true that more roads have been fixed and are being fixed over the last five years than any relative period in the entire history of our nation. We even want to do a lot more and this budget will cater for this.

“That is why for decades, Government after Government imposed and maintained tolls on some public roads to raise funds for road construction and maintenance. This is the situation in many countries. However, over the years, the tolling points have become unhealthy market centres, led to heavy traffic on our roads, lengthened travel time from one place to another, and impacted negatively on productivity.

“The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities. To address these challenges, Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved (after appropriation or now?). The toll collection personnel will be reassigned. The expected impact on productivity and reduced environmental pollution will more than off-set the revenue forgone by removing the tolls.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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