…As Titus-Glover calls for the right things to be done
The government’s move to enforce the compulsory payment of the controversial towing tax by vehicle owners in the country has been halted by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Roads and Transport intervention.
Following an emergency meeting that witnessed the attendance of the Transport Minister, representatives of the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC), Drivers Vehicle and Licensing Authority (DVLA) and the Road Safety Management Services Limited, it became evident that broader consultations were not done before the attempts to implement the exercise on 1st July, 2017
Citing the reason for the suspension, the ranking member on the committee, Governs Kwame Agbodza, said the committee wants to probe the issues surrounding the implementation and possibly recommend the recall of the Legislative Instrument supporting the fee.
The Ministry of Roads and Transport on Tuesday announced the suspension of the towing tax after it received a massive condemnation from the general public who believes that the exercise was another scam by the Akufo-Addo government to rip off Ghanaians of their hard earned money.
Passed in 2012, the LI 2180 was given five years’ fallow period after which it would jump to life in 2017. With just two weeks to its implementation, the new regulation has been met with public disapproval. Some have questioned the basis for which the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) awarded the contract to the Road Safety Management Limited (RSML), a subsidiary of the Jospong Group owned by businessman Joseph Siaw Agyapong.
The immediate halt of this exercise will mean that come 1st July, 2017 vehicle owners will not be required to pay the mandatory Road Safety Fee each time they renew their roadworthy certificate at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) until further notice.
Earlier, the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) had explained that the implementation of the new towing tax follows the successful completion of modalities and contractual arrangements with Road Service Management Company Limited (RSMCL) and that new ‘towing fees’ are also partly in response to public concerns about government lack of effective towing service that would remove all broken-down vehicles on the highways.
But the Deputy Minister of Transport, Nii Kwatei Titus- Glover, in giving reasons why the new towing fee was suspended, suggested that some basic things were not done right hence the need to relook at the whole program holistically, especially with regard to the fee charged so as to give a human face to it.
“We are suspending it to ensure that the right things are done. If I say right things are done, I mean the public has not been given enough education. One of the major issues that have come up is the issue about the cost – the fees that they are paying, although it has been approved by Parliament. If it means that we have to go back to Parliament to amend that part of the fees that will be collected so people can have some respite, why not? What the minister has done is to make sure that we listen to cry of the Ghanaian people…,” he said.
Meanwhile, Road Transport Consultant, Cecil Garbrah, has urged the government to review its decision on the implementation of the suspended tow tax since it is premature, considering the various challenges bedevilling the country’s road and transports sector.