The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has described as an empty boast a directive by the Roads and Highways Minister, halting the payment of road tolls across the country.
During parliamentary proceedings on Thursday, the Speaker explained that the payment of road tolls was occasioned by an Act of Parliament, and therefore for the payment to be suspended, the Act must be repealed accordingly.
He, therefore, expressed his reservations about the decision of the Minister, to issue a directive abolishing the tolls without recourse to the existing legal provisions of the House.
Alban Bagbin, therefore, directed the Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, to withdraw the directive accordingly.
“Until the 2022 budget is approved, all that is contained in it are proposals. We have the authority to approve it and until it has been approved, nobody had the authority to start implementing something that does not exist. It amounts to a disrespect of Parliament.
“The Minister [of Roads and Highways] might have misunderstood or misapplied the law, and so it is for us to draw his attention and tell him that he has no such authority. The law we have now has imposed the fees that we have been collecting. And so I want to clearly direct that what the Minister has released is completely brutum fulmen. It means it’s an empty boast. It has no effect,” Mr Bagbin stressed.
On Wednesday, November 17, the Finance Minister disclosed the government’s plans to abolish road tolls from January 2022. This was followed by a statement from the transport minister, Kwasi Amoako-Attah, directing the cessation of tolls from 12:00 am on Thursday, November 18, 2021.
The Minority has also rubbished the directive by the Minister, accusing him of acting outside the confines of the law.