February 3, 2014

Parliament’s committee on Roads and Transports has summoned the Minister for Roads and Highways for reportedly approving the University of Ghana’s decision to charge motorists, who ply its roads.

There has been an outpour of public criticisms against the decision by the premier university to charge tolls, ranging from Gh¢1 to Gh¢3 from motorists beginning Saturday, February 1.

The University authorities claim they have the backing of the Roads and Highways Minister, Alhaji Aminu Sulemana, to levy their roads in order to repay a loan the university secured from a bank to reconstruct its roads.

Two students of the university have filed a legal suit against the University in respect of the tolls at the Supreme Court, questioning the Constitutionality of the action.

But Vice Chairman of the Committee on Roads and Transport, Theophilus Tetteh-Chaie says Parliament, which reserves the right to authorize the levying of such road tolls, knows nothing about the development.

Mr. Tetteh-Chae told Joy FM on Monday that the decision by the university to take road tolls from the public is illegal.

“Once it is above the rate that is being applied elsewhere, I don’t think it is the right thing to do,” Mr. Tetteh-Chae said.

He explained: “It is not for the committee to actually make final decision on the issue but we should be briefed on the actual issue”.

Private legal practitioner, Kwame Akuffo says Parliament’s intervention has “come too late and seeks to stampede the final determination of the matter” in court.

Kwame Akuffo also disagrees with the move to halt the University authorities from collecting the tolls on the grounds that the roads are not public roads.

“So far as I’m concerned, the applicability of the tolls Act to the University’s roads is completely non-existent and the university is on firm grounds,” he emphasized.