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02.02.2010 Feature Article

THE CHANGE IN OUR POCKETS IS TOO MUCH

THE CHANGE IN OUR POCKETS IS TOO MUCH
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There were many promises that the NDC made during their campaign in the 2008 general elections but there was one that was very prominent and that was the NDC's promise of “a change that we could feel in our pockets”. After a year of the NDC government I think I'm now feeling the real change in my pocket and I sincerely know that many others are also feeling the same. Seriously, they have in no iota of doubt over delivered on this promise of theirs.

In fact for some time now I had being seeing the announcements of the new road tolls in the dailies but l never gave it any attention until this Monday when reality check dawned on me. I'm someone who lives at a place that is very far from my workplace so by virtue of my residential location and the kind of car I drive I'm now mandated to pay a new road toll of GH¢4.00 everyday [i.e. GH¢2.00 on my way to work and the same amount back home]. Thus I would have to use the lane of two toll booths before I go to work and return home.

Indeed after Monday's encounter at the toll booth, I decided to plan for the new toll rates and I was shocked and surprised at the change. For instance I go to work 6 out of the 7 days in a week so obviously I would have to donate GH¢4.00 every day to the toll fund thus about GH¢96.00 every month and GH¢1,152.00 every year; all other things being equal. On the other hand I spent GH¢57.60 in the whole of 2009 on tolls. Hence I would be a liar and a hypocrite to say that I can't feel the change that is profligately taking place in my pocket.

This wind of change got me thinking so I asked myself this simple question; how much are tro-tro and taxi drivers going to spend on tolls a day and what percentage of their sales is it going to be? For instance a tro-tro driver who uses the Accra-Kasoa road would have to pay GH¢2.00 on every trip [i.e. in and out] hence he would be required to pay GH¢20.00 if he embarks on ten trips everyday. Therefore if we assume without admitting that this driver can make about GH¢100.00 a day thus 20% of his daily proceeds would be going to the toll fund. However if he makes less than GH¢100.00 a day it means that he is going to give away more than 20% of his daily proceeds. If you think this is not a change that the tro-tro and taxi drivers can feel in their pockets then you might be coming from a different planet.

My brothers and sisters, the change in the toll rate is too profligate although a few of you may not be feeling it in your pockets because of your current financial locations. However, let me hasten to add that I would be very glad if the authorities in charge can go back to the drawing board and be a little realistic with the rates again. And as for the parliamentarians who passed this thing [i.e. Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2009, Act793] into law; the least said about them the better not forgetting “The Self-acclaimed Caring Father For All” Agya Atta who signed it. Indeed, we are now feeling the change too much and the earlier they do something about it the better for us all.

Obibinii Paa-Kwasi
The Chalant “Atiglinyi”
[email protected]

Obibinii Paa-Kwasi
Obibinii Paa-Kwasi, © 2010

The author has 8 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: ObibiniiPaaKwasi

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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