Gov’t is constrained; tolls on new roads novel way to fund such projects – Deputy Roads Minister

Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, Stephen Jalulah, says government’s plan to reintroduce tolls on newly constructed Public Private Partnership (PPP) roads after completion is justified.

He said the decision is an innovative means to raise the needed funds to fix roads as part of government’s commitment to revamp the country’s road infrastructure.

Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta while presenting the 2022 mid-year budget review in Parliament mentioned that users of the Accra-Tema motorway and other new roads will begin paying tolls again to recover the whole cost of expansion works.

Reacting to this on the Citi Breakfast Show, Stephen Jalulah said: “The Minister was very clear; he said going forward, all PPP roads will be tolled. I think this is a novel way of improving road networks. Government is always constrained with funding. So it is impossible for government to catch up with the road needs, so the best way is to bring in investors, toll the roads to be able to pay them back.”



The toll will also be to “pay lenders and provide a return for equity investors.”

The collection of road tolls nationwide was stopped as part of a policy announcement in the 2022 budget.

Under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme for road infrastructure, the Accra-Tema Motorway and Extension Project of 10 lanes is currently at its procurement stage.

Site works are expected to commence in September 2022.

“The Government of Ghana has made a strategic decision, in line with the Public Private Partnership Act, 2020 (Act 1039) to procure the Accra-Tema Motorway and Extensions Project through GIIF with a mandate to deliver a Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund-led PPP financing solution, where maximum funds are raised from the market,” the Finance Minister explained.



Majority ownership of the project will remain with the GIIF on behalf of the government.



Stephen Jalulah revealed that aside from the Accra-Tema Motorway, talks are ongoing between government and other foreign partners for the construction of roads under similar arrangements.

“So far, it is only the Accra-Tema Motorway that is going to be done under PPP. But we have received proposals from some other private firms to do some roads for us on PPP basis. Some investors came from Rome to do some implementation but for now, it is only Accra-Tema Motorway.”

 

Source: citinews

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