Toll Fees Saga: OPEN LETTER To Hon Joe Gidisu, Roads/Highways Minister

Open LETTER To Hon Joe Gidisu, Minister for Roads/Highways on The Need To Integrate Toll Fees Into Registration of Vehicles/Road Worthy/Driving Licence Renewals At DVLA. HONORABLE JOE GIDISU 15TH FEBRUARY 2010 THE MINISTER FOR ROADS/HIGHWAYS P.O. BOX AE 52 GOVERNMENT OF GHANA ATOMIC ENERGY ACCRA HAATSO ACCRA 020-782-0500 Dear Sir, INTEGRATE TOLL FEES INTO REGISTRATION OF VEHICLES/ROAD WORTHY/DRIVING LICENCE RENEWALS AT DVLA Indeed as a road user let me sincerely say that I am personally happy with the introduction of road tolls on some of our roads in the country, though this is not a new thing, it is clearly evident that not much has been done to generate enough funds for our road needs, apparently I may not know what Government plans are, but let me commend the Government on efforts and measures put in place. Notwithstanding, having listened to the Honorable minister on television and on radio, I am of the view that we all as Ghanaians should join hands together to help find a lasting solution to this problem, because I clearly see so many problems with its implementation and would like to come out with some of the identified problems and to share some suggestions and ideas with you Honorable Minister, PROBLEMS/LOOPHOLES  Do we know how many vehicles that ply our roads daily country wide?  Not all vehicles pay toll fees.  Not all roads have toll booths.  Few vehicles pay for larger number of vehicles who don�t pay at all.  Avoidable serious delays/heavy traffic jams at toll booths just to pay toll fees.  Adverse effect on our daily activities and production.  Low income for road fund.  How much income is generated daily multiplied by 365/6 a year.  Serious corruption at tollbooths by collectors.  How many drivers do or are able to pay for how many times they ply tollbooths daily. OBSERVATIONS  A trotro or taxi plying Kaneshie to Kasoa would pay for every entry.  The same trotro or taxi plying Madina to Accra or Kumasi-Techiman where there is no tollbooth is free from paying, so what do we do?  The risk of armed robbers, the possibilities of snatching collected monies at gun point as has been experienced in the past at some of the tollbooths, but let me say that may be some of these collectors could arrange with these armed robbers for the attack for a share.  Collectors cannot work late in the night due again to armed robbers possible attack, but vehicles would drive at night without paying.  How many tollbooths would we have in the country with how much to be invested into them let alone salary for collectors.  Drivers CANNOT make underpayments at DVLA , but could make underpayments at the tollbooths without receipts and this would rather ENRICH the collectors.  Government/Ministry of roads and highways can budget on how much funds raised daily, monthly, yearly to enable contracts to be awarded.  Customs/Excise & Preventive service *CEPS* could be tasked to collect toll fee for DVLA on foreign registered vehicles on entry to the country by road.  Also police as usual be tasked to critically inspect toll fee stickers on windscreens of vehicles as has been done on road worthy.  The public lack the understanding as to why they should pay for road usage, therefore vigorous public education is needed in the media, in Churches, Mosques & all gatherings by Chiefs, etc.  Since all vehicles should have roadworthy certificate before plying our roads then toll fees should as well be included in the payment of roadworthy fees at the DVLA.  Looking at the investment pumped into the establishment of tollbooths, let us sincerely also look at how many vehicles that pay, and those that do not. SUGGESTIONS & BENEFITS DVLA would be able to  Capture about 90% of vehicles in the country to pay for road usage.  Ease traffic congestions on our roads just to queue to pay for toll fees.  Avoid corruption at the tollbooths to ensure full payments or avoid underpayments.  Do away with enriching the pockets of collectors due to underpayments without receipts.  Increase in revenue, because vehicles are registered.  Compulsory take their stickers at the DVLA like road worthy stickers.  It will drastically increase income for our roads/bridges construction and repairs.  Have money directly paid to the bank at DVLA.  Registration of new vehicles fees should be adjusted higher since it is a onetime event on registered vehicle so that a portion of 60% would go to road fund since vehicles would immediately use already existing constructed roads.  Roadworthy renewals should be readjusted a bit higher so that another 60% could go to road fund.  At least 10% of these monies raised could be sent to Tema Oil Refinery *TOR* as capital to fuel our own government vehicles and organizations. CALCULATION LETS ALL DO IT TOGETHER � EXAMPLES  A taxi pays 5GP for many times daily, times 365/6 days plying� tollbooth roads.  A trotro pay 1.50 for how many times daily, times 365/6 days plying only on tollbooth roads.  A private car pays 10GP for how many times daily, times 365/6 plying only on tollbooth roads.  A big vehicles pays 2.00 for how many times daily, times 365/6 days plying only on tollbooth roads.