President of IMANI Africa, Franklin Cudjoe, believes the state is essentially washing its hand off ensuring discipline and safety on roads with its controversial nationwide towing programme.
Mr. Cudjoe made this observation at the weekend on Citi FM in Accra.
He described the 20-year duration of the programme as “silly.”
“The issue really has always had to do with the arrangement. I think 20 years is too much. This is a short term issue. The fact that we are accepting as a State that we are abdicating our role in ensuring safety on our roads and deciding that we will rather outsource to a company… they want to outsource this because the state system has collapsed in terms of maintaining law and order on our roads,” Mr. Cudjoe said.
His advice to government was that it “takes the whole deal back again,” adding that “I am not sure that a 20-year deal like this makes sense.”
“If we are talking maybe three of five years because you believe that you will be working towards making sure that the rules will be obeyed on our roads, maybe yes, but 20 years is just too much… The state is essentially suggesting to us through Parliament that we will never get anything right.”
The ministry of transport has come out to say it has not yet taken any decision on the implementation of the programme.
As part of possible changes to the deal, Mr. Cudjoe suggested that “the companies involved must be more than one and they must go through proper tendering processes.”
The sole company contracted by the National Road Safety Commission (NRSC) for the programme is Road Safety Management Services Limited (RSMSL).
The commission explained that other towing companies were assessed for possible involvement in the programme but lacked the requisite capacity.
Road Safety Management Services, on the other hand, was reported to have already acquired some 118 trucks ahead of the implementation of the programme.
Thus settling on Road Safety Management Limited was the convenient option for the NRSC.
The towing programme is to ensure that all vehicles that breakdown on highways are cleared off the roads. Drivers are required to pay a road safety levy ranging between GH¢10 and GH¢200.
Commercial vehicles and taxis will pay GH¢40, mini-buses will pay GH¢80, while heavy duty trucks will pay between GH¢80 and GH¢200 annually, depending on their tonnage. non-commercial vehicles are expected to pay GH¢20.
Story: Kofi Owusu Tawiah