‘Reintroduction of tolling will quicken pace of infrastructure devt’

PwC, Accounting and auditing firm, has stated that the reintroduction of tolling as a means of paying for socioeconomic infrastructure is appropriate and will quicken the pace of development.

“Tolling if properly implemented will help with the progress, growth and development of infrastructure at a quicker pace while being more affordable to government and that the reintroduction of tolling as a means of paying for economic infrastructure is appropriate,” it explained.

The firm noted that the government should have considered an alternative approach before abolishing the road toll and proposed automated tolling as an alternative, so that road infrastructure developed under the Public Private Partnership framework could be paid for in whole or in part through user charges.

The government in the Mid-Year Budget Review pointed out that the reconstruction of the Tema Motorway which will be under a Public Private Partnership arrangement will pay for itself upon completion and the abolishing of the road toll has denied the government some revenue which could have been used for rehabilitation of dilapidated roads.

In its commentary on the 2022 Mid-Year Budget Review, PwC indicated that an alternative approach to deal with challenges such as lack of probity, accountability and transparency at the toll booths should have been considered before abolishing the tolling.

“We proposed automated tolling as an alternative, so that road infrastructure developed under the Public Private Partnership framework can be paid for in whole or in part through user charges while we understood the reasons underpinning the government’s decision to remove tolls on roads in the country.

“It included the lack of probity, transparency and accountability over the tolls collected, the heavy traffic at the manual toll booths, its associated waste of manhours and adverse impact on the environment, we thought that an alternative approach to deal with these challenges should have been considered,” the firm stressed.

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