Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako says the Roads and Highways Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta's cessation of road tolls is a needless ''premature ejaculation''.
According to him, it's wrong for the Roads Minister to have stopped the collection of the tolls.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, presenting the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy at Parliament on Wednesday, November 17, indicated that "government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved".
Immediately after the Finance Minister's annoucement, Kwesi Amoako-Atta order for all public road toll collection to be halted effective Thursday, November 18.
His statement read; "Following the presentation of the 2022 Budget by the Hon. Minister of Finance on behalf of His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, the Ministry of Roads and Highways hereby directs the cessation of the collection of road and bridge tolls at all locations nationwide. This directive takes effect from 12am on Thursday, November 18, 2021.”
The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, in an interview with Kwami Sefa Kayi on Peace FM's 'Kokrokoo' programme justified the Roads Minister's directive stating he had the adminstrative right to cancel the tolls.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah argued that, "if Parliament has given you powers to introduce a charge and you want to suspend that charge, administratively you can do so without going to Parliament".
But Kweku Baako dissents to the justifications as well as the Minister's directive.
According to him, Kwesi Amoako-Atta had no legal right to stop the collection of road tolls when Parliament hadn't approved the directive yet.
"I think it was done wrong in terms of the sequence of events," he said.
Quoting verbatim a portion of the Finance Minister's statement where he specifically said the removal of road tolls only "takes effect immediately the Budget is approved", Mr. Baako was unhappy that the Roads Minister couldn't wait before prematurely executing his order.
"I repeat that relevant portion; 'this takes effect immediately after the budget is approved'. So, there was no room for premature ejaculation on the part of the Roads Minister. What he did was completely wrong . . . it was a rush, premature ejaculation and one has to be honest and admit some of these things. You see some of these complications don't help. Needless! And so I don't even see why one should attempt to rationalize or justify this gaffe!!," he asserted while contributing to a panel discussion on Kokrokoo on Wednesday, 24th November.