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Road toll order: We should’ve given hawkers notice, says Napo

The Minister of Energy, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, believes hawkers who have been affected following the cessation of road toll were given a raw deal.

The hawkers who ply their trade at tollbooths are complaining that they were taken by surprise when the government implemented the directive in the 2022 Budget in less than 24 hours of its presentation in Parliament.

Prempeh, affectionately called Napo, said the hawkers should have been given enough time to put themselves together.

“The women have a point. I won’t run away from that. Maybe on second thought, we should have given them time,” the Manhyia South MP told Accra-based TV3.

Why cessation of road toll

“Over the years, the tolling points have led to heavy traffic on our roads and lengthened travel time from one place to another, impacting negatively on time and productivity. The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities.

“To address these challenges, government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved. The toll collection personnel will be reassigned. The expected impact on productivity and reduced environmental pollution will more than off-set the revenue forgone by removing the tolls,” the Finance minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, said.

Hawkers upset

Hawkers who ply their trade at major tollbooths around the country are furious over the decision because the current “free-flow of traffic” is affecting their business.

According to these traders, running business at the tollbooth has been their source of income over the years hence the directive by the government will highly affect them.

“No one informed us about this decision. I’m taking care of my family. I came here this morning and suddenly we’re being told they are no longer taking the toll so it means there will no longer be traffic, and that affects our business,” a woman told Asaase News’s Nana Adjoa Entsuah-Hagan.

Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament for Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfrom in the Greater Accra Region, Sylvester Mathew Tetteh, has said the traders would be relocated to another market to continue their business, adding that the young traders amongst them who aspire to learn a trade will be given the opportunity.

Source: Asaase Radio

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