Return Of Road Tolls Backed By Economic Sense

  Thu, 16 Mar 2023
Editorial Return Of Road Tolls Backed By Economic Sense

The proposed return of road tolls has elicited mixed reactions. While some think it is a welcome rethink, others are compelled to recall the long vehicle queues at toll points on highways strewn across the country, especially in Accra.

It would be recalled that when the decision was taken regarding the abolishing of road tolls, similar mixed reactions greeted the move. Now, thinking of restoring the tolls would suggest that government has taken note of the drawbacks of the earlier move but more importantly what it is losing by not taking monies from motorists to shore up domestic revenue generation.

Be that as it may, the proposal must have been informed by compelling factors among them the cash inflow to the state kitty, part of which goes into road maintenance and even infrastructure development.

Some would think that the subject is jinxed. Having attracted brouhaha when the tolls were scrapped by the stroke of the pen, arrangements are on for its restoration. The opposition at the time, it would be recalled, described the action as not in tandem with procedure. They had their say but government had its way. Today, the road tolls are on their way back, the reasons being adduced making sense anyway.

We think that technology, specifically digitisation has made every human endeavour relatively easy when we apply ourselves to it. In some countries, the inconveniences of vehicles parking in long queues to pay road tolls has been effectively addressed through the adoption of appropriate apps.

App designers should be engaged and there are many of them to work on how to have motorists pay for tolls without wasting precious time at toll booths on the highways.

This approach for us would tackle the challenge of theft and other acts of impropriety by some managers of the toll booths impossible to carry out. We have no doubts in our minds that when tasked to come out with a response to effective toll booth management our software designers should be able to live up to expectations.

For those who have found in the return to the toll booths something to deride, we cannot agree with them. There is of course nothing wrong with returning to what has already been dropped having learnt lessons from the initial decision.

The cardinal factor which informed the decision to scrap the toll booths was reasonable. Government as part of measures to mitigate the pain inflicted by the harsh economic downturn scrapped the road tax.

If however afterlife without toll booths, a reversal is thought to be in the national economic interest, for us shows the adaptability of the government.

Before a final return is made however, we ask that sufficient technology backed measures are taken to ensure that the drawbacks noticed in previous times do not rear their heads again.

Source: Daily Guide