Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Monday, August 21, 2017
The controversial mandatory towing levy that sparked heated debate in the country has been halted by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government with immediate effect.
The project was to be carried out by Road Safety Management Limited (RSML), a subsidiary of the Jospong Group of Companies owned by businessman Joseph Siaw Agyapong of Zoomlion fame, but the Ministry of Transport has said that cannot be done.
DAILY GUIDE learnt the decision to discontinue the towing levy was taken at Cabinet meeting on Thursday where it was rejected outright leading to the minister issuing the statement announcing the cancellation of the deal.
A statement issued in Accra yesterday by the Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah said “the government has decided not to implement the mandatory towing levy, which was scheduled to have commenced on July 1, 2017,” and said there was going to be a new law to regulate how to remove broken down or disabled vehicles from the roads.
The statement said the government’s decision followed “extensive consultations between the Minister of Transport and stakeholders in the transport sector,” adding “an announcement by the implementing agency (National Road Safety Commission - NRSC) that the LI will be implemented from July 1, 2017 was met with public outcry and calls for a review of the policy.”
The Minister said upon consultations, the government has decided to seek a review of parts of the law to achieve specific objectives.
He said the portion of the law that states the concept of a mandatory towing levy on all owners and persons in charge of motor vehicles and trailers will be rescinded and also the role of government in the provision of towing services will be limited to only licensing and regulating providers.
According to the minister, Legislative Instrument (LI) 2180 (Road Traffic Regulations, 2012), which in Regulation 102 (3) impose a mandatory levy on all owners and persons in charge of motor vehicles, for the purposes of towing broken down or disabled vehicles on roads had been passed in 2012.
“Government renews its commitment to the policy position that broken down vehicles ought to be removed from our roads to avert accidents. New modalities for dealing with the problem of broken down or disabled vehicles will be formulated and announced in due course.”
As indicated by the ministry, there has been public uproar following the NRSC’s decision to roll out the programme as many people questioned the basis for which the commission awarded the contract to the RSML.
Fees per year for both commercial and non-commercial vehicles, depending on tonnage, ranged from GH¢20 to GH¢200.