The Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has announced a decision by the government to reintroduce road tolls.
According to the minister, the reintroduced tolls will be collected on specific roads whose financing will come through a strategic Public Private Partnership Agreement under the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund.
The minister, delivering the 2022 mid-year budget review address in parliament on Monday, noted that the 22.7-kilometre Accra-Tema Motorway and Extension Project is one of such roads which will be tolled to offset its cost of construction.
“Mr. Speaker, under the Ministry of Roads and Highways (MoRH) Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme for road infrastructure, the Design, Build, Finance, Operate, and Maintain (DBFOM) Accra – Tema Motorway and Extension PPP Project (27.7km) is at the procurement stage. Site works are expected to commence in September 2022.
“The Government of Ghana has made a strategic decision, in line with the Public Private Partnership Act, 2020 (Act 1039) to procure the Accra-Tema Motorway and Extensions Project through GIIF with a mandate to deliver a GIIF-led PPP financing solution, where maximum funds are raised from the market, but majority ownership of the project remains with GIIF on behalf of the Ghanaian Government,” he informed parliament on Monday.
Mr Ofori-Atta noted that the new strategy would help the government recover the cost of completed roads and pay lenders and investors.
“The draft Concession Agreement (CA) between GIIF and MoRH is currently under review by GIIF, MoRH, the Office of the Attorney-General and Ministry of Finance. When completed, the CA is expected to be approved by the PPP Committee, Cabinet and Parliament. The completed road will be tolled to recover the whole life cost of the completed infrastructure as well as pay lenders and provide a return for equity investors. The Government of Ghana shall provide funding through GIIF to take equity in the Special Purpose Vehicle to be created by GIIF for the project,” he noted.
Ken Ofori-Atta, while delivering the 2022 Budget Statement on November 17, 2021, announced the government’s decision to immediately discontinue the collection of road tolls on all public roads across the country.
The Minister for Roads and Highways, following the announcement by the minister, directed the seizure of toll collections effective November 18, 2021.
The government explained that the decision was to help ease vehicular traffic at the various road toll collection points.
However, the government has since been under intense criticism, with some critics arguing that the move has denied the state needed revenue.