The National Concerned Drivers Association and True Drivers Union have called on its members across the country to resist any road toll hike by the government.
This follows a hint by caretaker Finance Minister Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu about government’s intended review of road tolls when he delivered the 2021 budget on Friday, 12 March 2021.
According to the driver groups, their members have been paying road tolls for years without seeing any proper development of the roads by the government.
In a statement, the associations bemoaned the increase in the price of fuel and announced it will increase transportation fares effective Thursday, 18 March 2021.
“Now, fuel consumers are again set to pay more at the pump, as some major Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) have further increased their prices”, the statement by the two driver groups noted.
The fuel increase is also coupled with an increase in the prices of spare parts and other lubricants.
“With this situation, we have in consultations with all other driving unions and associations decided to increase the prices of fares come Thursday 18/03/2021.”
The drivers urged “stakeholders” to bear with them and comply with the decision to enable it “serve them better.”
It further noted: “As drivers, we have been paying the road tolls for years yet, there have been no developments on our roads, especially on our highways, not to talk about the rural and urban roads”, adding: “We are, therefore, calling on all drivers unions and associations to help resist any form of road toll increment.”
Mr Osei-Kyei-Mensah Bonsu told Parliament during his delivery of the budget statement that “to maintain the improvements on our roads, the government will review existing road tolls and align them with current market rates”.
“This will form part of the framework for promoting burden-sharing, as we seek to transform our road and infrastructure sector in a post-COVID era”.
Furthermore, he noted, in 2021, “we will amend the Fees and Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2018 (Act 983) that governs the setting of rates and tolls to accommodate an automatic annual adjustment that will be pegged to the previous year’s average annual inflation as published by the Ghana Statistical Service”.
The likely upward adjustment will add to new levies and taxes introduced by the government in the budget.