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Sun, Oct

New towing policy not fit to pass

As a newspaper, we cannot be silent or be oblivious of issues of national concern. And when such matters come up, we owe it a duty to state our position quite equivocally.

We are at a loss why the government and its agencies are even considering the implementation of the mandatory towing levy.

Under the policy, vehicle owners are expected to pay a road safety fee ranging between GH¢10 and GH¢200 in addition to their road worthy certification fees if the tow tax is implemented.

The nature and scope of the contract of service, executed between the Road Safety Commission and the Road Safety Management Company Limited for the purpose of enforcing the law, unfairly creates a monopoly by making the Road Safety Management Company Limited (RSMCL), the sole provider of the service.

Besides, there is no guarantee that the RSMCL, after receiving payment, will deliver the required service effectively and efficiently in order to achieve the said policy objective.

It still beats our imagination how a contract is created for 20 years without any performance targets and also ties the hands of government to look on helplessly if the company fails to deliver.

The GRAPHIC BUSINESS is adding its voice to the calls from the public on the government to completely ignore and disregard the proposal of the parliamentary committee and cease immediately from implementing this levy.

Just as many other well-meaning Ghanaians, we find the arrangements with the company involved as bogus and unthinkable as it is also a very bad decision and most unfortunate.

What we need to understand is that, Ghanaians are all for any move to make our highways safe and will be willing to do anything to make it happen. However, their intelligence should not be taken for granted, particularly when they see serious gaps in a contract which obviously is meant to milk vehicle owners.

It is already clear that existing laws allow the government to tow vehicles wrongfully parked on our roads and charge a fee accordingly. For instance, we need to remind the Motor Transport and Traffic Directorate (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service and the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) of Section 21 of the Road Traffic Act

Enough is enough. We believe that the general disapproval from the public should serve as a wake-up call to the government to abandon this mandatory towing levy.

While we find the idea of towing stationary vehicles laudable, its implementation in its current form is not a smart decision. It will create chaos, and will be inimical to the country’s development.

A stitch in time saves nine.