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General News
Fuel levy and other road charges to increase 8/23/2007
Koforidua, Aug. 23, GNA - The Minster of State at the Ministry of Transportation, Mr Godfrey Bayon, has said increase in fuel levy and other road user charges was necessary if roads were to be maintained and sustained according to standard.

He said though revenue accruing into the road fund had consistently increased over the years, the funds could support only 60 per cent of road maintenance needs.

Mr Bayon was speaking at a public forum on road funds on Wednesday at Koforidua and gave the figures accruing into the road funds since the year 2000.

These are 248 billion cedis in 2000, 377 billion cedis in 2001, 409 billion cedis in 2002, 682 billion cedis in 2003 and 765 billion cedis in 2004.

In 2005 and 2006, the funds accrued 1,050 billion cedis and 1,087 billion cedis respectively and it is expected that this year, about 1.4 trillion cedis would be accrued by the fund.

Mr Bayon said the 40 per cent gap left in the road fund meant each year, the same percentage of roads were left unattended to and the cumulative effect was the reason for bad road network in the country. He said in addressing the problem government was considering other financial methods such as the issuing of bonds on the stock exchange but the "inevitable decision of increasing the levy on fuel as well as road and bridge tolls to make the road maintenance a collective responsibility still remain an option."

A board member of the Ghana Road Fund, Dr Mohamed Salifu, said matters of road maintenance should be discussed devoid of political lineage because it was a major aspect in the development of the nation. Describing the road fund as a state mechanism that had the tendency to survive any political rule, Dr Salifu called on politicians to consider the benefits of a realistic levy that would make the fund sustainable.

The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Kwadwo Affram Asiedu, said despite the existence of the fund, most feeder roads in the country were in deplorable state.

He said any poverty reduction strategy required availability of good feeder roads to link highways for the movement of goods and services.Source:
GNA


 
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