New Ghana Road Tolls Today

The increase in road tolls in Ghana takes effect today.

A regular car that used to pay 5 pesewas is now paying 50 p, a heavier car like a pick-up or trotro which used to pay 8p now pay 1 GHC (or about 70 US cents). That is an increase of 900% and 1150%!

Since I moved to Ghana three years ago, there has not been any increase in tolls, so I guess it was long overdue. The amount can of course be discussed. At present, maintenance is minimal on motorways and highways. This means street lights rarely work, potholes sometimes resemble craters and abandoned broken-down vehicles can be found anywhere, yes even on the fast lane of the motorway! It seems clear money is needed to make roads in Ghana safer.

However, as the toll increase was published in the newspapers last week, no reason was given for it, no promises were made, no connections were made with above stated problems. We were just informed through newspaper ads that "The Ghana Road Fund under the auspices of Ministry of Roads and Highways...solicits the cooperation of Motorists to comply with payment of the new tolls at the various toll collection facilities". Information was published in newspapers, but for a 1000% increase, is that enough? I was surprised that there was little discussion about it.

Because even though, something clearly needs to be done about Ghana's roads, the effects of this increase in tolls become almost like a tax on commuting. With a congested capitol, maybe that is not the best measure... For me who commute to Accra using the Tema motorway my monthly costs is up by 18 GHC or a little less in USD. That's in a country where average monthly salary is about 160 GHC per month (1326 USD per year in 2007 according to Gapminder).

Just now, Joy FM is reporting that some people are refusing to pay and there is chaos at the toll booths at Tema motorway.

Hence, short term, this toll has made it more difficult to get to work. Still, I'm cautiously hopeful about the long-term improvements.

Pic: A trotro pays its tolls at the Ashaiman/Tema toll station last week, most likely happily unaware of the changes of today.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fairy tale to me, tolls not affecting development of roads haha, well, some of us are very aware of these things already, a country that has lost it priorities and retrogressing, a country growing without expansion of roads, i was born in Tema in the 70's, Tema isn't what it used to be, the people are only interested in football, i wish they can gather and demonstrate just as they do during football matches.

Miss Footloose said...

Oh, my, I hope there are no riots! I can't imagine many people being able to pay that hefty fee. And yes, it would be good to have the roads improved. Heard any plans with what they're planning to do with the expected oil revenue at the end of this year? Roads! Hospitals!

Just let it all go smoothly when the black gold comes gushing out. And let it all be put to good use.

Maya Mame said...

Damn, you beat me to it, lol! I actually wanted them to increase the price a few years ago but at the time I though people would find even a 100% increase shocking. It'll be interesting to see if the money does indeed go to improvements.

Anonymous said...

Miss footloose, dont know you but will be nice to leave you a nice comment, black gold cant do much for any Ghanaian, its time we be realistic, if yellow gold didnt do anything what will black do? Realities,
1. the oil will be drilled by foreign companies and sold to us
2. Foreign companies will dictate prices at which we should buy this oil from our own motherland,

Eventually, prices are still hiked and Ghanaians having no say, you see our natural resources havent benefited us in anyways, rather fed Western Powers to our detriment because of weak african leaders and their fragile policies.

3. Finally, there will be seminars, conferences, workshops and committees as to how the oil revenues will be stolen and sent to foreign banks and how the Ghanaian "big man" can come park their SUV's/4x4's during such meetings.

Its a continent, where many speak English and either dont understand or take it serious, we have seen all this time and time again, none can convince me, its all a joke.

Edward said...

A couple of months (or is it years???) ago, the talk time tax was introduced. I am yet to be told what projects of the Gh ecomini have been supported with these funds. And now I hear a 1000% increase in toll tickets!! It is a good decision, but what I am asking for is simple accountability at the end of the day. Is that too much to ask for???

Kajsa Hallberg Adu said...

Hi Ms F, Common sense, Edward, Maya Maame, thanks for reading my blog post - looking forward to your post on this Maya Maame.

Edward, it shouldn be too much to ask for.

CS - you are right in many ways (lol at item 3 above), but accountability doesnt start from the leader, it is demanded by the people. There is still hope for Ghana.

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