The Member of Parliament (MP) for Binduri in the Upper East Region, Dr. Robert Baba Kuganab-Lem, yesterday told Parliament about extortion on the Kulungugu-Kamasi highway that many know of, but are either unconcerned or do not want to talk about it.
The MP revealed that highway patrol team of the Ghana Police Service (GPS) and Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) extort at least GH¢15,000 from onion suppliers from Niger, who ply the highway on daily basis.
He alleged that the moneys are collected at seven custom barriers, eight Motor Traffic and Transport Department (MTTD) of the GPS check points and 45 general police check points along the route.
“Averagely a truck will have to part with between GH¢750 and GH¢1,000 as it makes its journey from Kulungugu or Paga to Kumasi.
“Twenty trucks leave these two border towns daily towards the south and about GH¢15,000 is extorted daily from these suppliers,” Dr. Kuganab-Lem said.
The revelation in Parliament, even though scandalising, is not surprising.
Indeed, this is not the first time extortions on our roads have been raised in public; perhaps this is the first time Parliament is being called upon to do something about it.
The Times is not surprised at all because we are on record to have published in the past, the shameful practice that our security agencies engage in on our roads.
As a matter of fact, many studies have been conducted by various agencies on our roads from Aflao in the Volta Region to Elubo in the Western Region, and from the southern part of Ghana to the northern border of the country.
There are many reports that have been churned out from these studies and are available for anyone, who cares to know.
Since our MPs have decided to raise the matter again, it will appear that the extortion is growing and becoming a nuisance on our roads.
The Times supports the position that this matter should not be taken lightly, because it is illegal for the security agencies to extort money from motorists.
Besides, the practice may affect economic activities of the people and lead to many social-economic problems.
We, therefore, add our voice to the call that the matter should be thoroughly investigated so that action is taken to stop the extortions on our roads.
The security agencies, transport unions and all stakeholders must come together and find amicable solutions to what is described as a canker on our roads.