Abolishment of road tolls: We didn’t record any fights as stated by Roads Minister

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Some tollbooth attendants have refuted claims by the Minister for Roads and Highways that road users nearly beat them for being at post after the announcement to abolish road tolls.

According to the toll collectors they did not experience any such incidents as suggested by Mr. Kwasi Amoako-Attah.

The roads minister issued a directive for toll collectors to cease taking tolls on all public roads barely 24 hours after the finance minister announced on the floor of parliament that road tolls would be abolish.

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His actions led to a heated debate with the Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, ordering Mr. Kwasi Amoako-Attah to reverse the ‘illegal’ directive to stop collecting road tolls without parliamentary approval.

In his defense, Mr. Amoako-Attah clarified that he gave the directive to avoid some unfortunate events which included road users attacking toll collectors.

“Unfortunately, the Minister of Finance’s statement either got misunderstood or misinterpreted by some motorists, as many of them deemed the statement as having immediate effect and therefore decided not to pay the road and bridge tolls. The insistence of the toll collected to have the tolls paid caused serious confusion and, in some cases, resulted in fisticuffs and damage to lives and property,” a statement from the roads ministry said.

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But in an interview on Angel FM’s Anopa Bofoↄ breakfast show, Ernest Antwi, a toll collector debunked the minister’s assertions.

We did not encounter any challenges when they announced the cessation of road tolls and there were no fights, he said in the Twi dialect.

I am on a number of platforms for toll collectors and none of them recorded such incidents. As far as I am concerned it didn’t happen, he added when quizzed further.

To buttress her colleague’s point, Mariam Karim, said that they stayed behind to direct traffic because some drivers were unaware that road tolls had been abolished.

It is not true that there were disagreements of any sort, she concluded.

Meanwhile some parliamentarians from the minority caucus have condemned the roads minister’s actions.

Speaker Alban Bagbin has described the minister’s unilateral decision as disrespectful to the house and ordered for a reversal of the directive while Mr. Inusah Fuseini has argued that the minister was wrong, given that he sought to amend an existing law without consulting Parliament.

However, legislature for Nsawam Adoagyiri, Frank Annoh-Dompreh, has defended  the minister saying the speaker had no locus as far as this issue is concerned.

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