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General News
Road Fund to increase user fee 9/28/2008

Wa, Sept 27, GNA - Dr. Richard Anane, Minister of Roads and Transport has indicated that levy on fuel and the other road user charges would be increased to sustain the Road Fund. He said, at present, the Fund could only cater for 60 per cent of the road maintenance needs of the country.

The increase would therefore support the 40 per cent challenge of maintenance financial resources towards the maintenances of the country''s total road network which stood at about 63,000 kilometres from 38,000 kilometres in 2001.

Dr Anane said this in speech read on his behalf by Mr Godfred Bayong Tangu of the Ministry of Transport at a regional forum of stakeholders in the road sector in Wa. The forum was to create a platform among stakeholders to share ideas and sought suggestions towards providing adequate and sustainable financial resources for efficient and effective management of the road network.

Dr Anane said the Fund Carried forward an indebtedness of GH¢85 million from 2007 to 2008 compelling government to secured a loan to pay-off contractors for works done up to December 2008. He said between January and August this year, an amount of about GH¢150,679 had been paid to contractors. He said it has been estimated that a one per cent delay in maintenance, costs eight times more to restore the road.

Dr Anane announced that the government was studying some recommendation that the Ministry made to make the Fund more responsive to the road maintenance needs. He mentioned the issuing of bonds on the Stock Exchange and the Build Operate and Transfer systems as some of the financial methods that government was considering to provide the needed funds for road maintenance.

He said Ghanaians continued to contribute six Ghana Pesewas on every litre of fuel they purchased on the other fuel station and also pay five Ghana Pesewas road tolls for saloon vehicles. The Sector Minister said that had made government and its development partners to continue to bear the high cost of re-gravelling, the resealing and reconstruction of roads in other to preserve the investment made in them.

Dr Anane said the time had come for the people to take the difficult but inevitable decision of increasing the levy on fuel and the other road user charges which had remained low over the years. He said even though the fuel levy accounted for 90 per cent of the total revenue, its impact was not felt by the motoring public since the levy was an indirect tax.

Dr Anane announced that the Fund had yielded GH¢108.7 million in 2006 and increased to GH¢115.8 million for 2007. It is projected that for 2008, the Fund would accrue GH¢129 million to enable it meet the maintenance budget of the road agencies to undertake their maintenance programmes and activities.

Dr Anane said the Fund generated a total revenue of GH¢577.6 million between 2000 and 2007. He urged commercial drivers to always obtain receipts for any fee and tolls they had paid for.

He appealed to drivers and contractors to be conscious of the need to adhere to road safety standards and to comply with the rules governing the use of vehicles on the road. "Our motor pillion riders must wear crash helmets and drivers must also wear seat-belts, he advised. Dr Anane said the recent spate of road crashes, most of them resulting in fatalities and injuries should not be tolerated, adding; "our drivers must have a change of attitude since this is the surest way to minimise road accidents.

Source: GNA

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