FOR the past few weeks, one of the raging issues that has caught national attention and covered a sizeable media space is whether to implement the mandatory towing levy or not to. This was after the Parliamentary Select Committee on Transport recommended to the Government the passing of the law.
THE debate that ensued in the public space was diverse but mostly against an idea of a mandatory levy. A mandatory towing levy has been vehemently kicked against by stakeholders in the transport sector as well as many other individuals.
THE argument had been that it was a bad law and government was to hasten slowly in passing it without further consultation. The sum of all the arguments was that the state should not levy vehicle owners to fund the business of one single operator.
AFTER weeks of intensive debate from a cross-section of Ghanaians across the country, the Government over the weekend came out to announce that it had withdrawn the mandatory towing levy which should have commenced on July 1, 2017. In a statement issued by the Ministry of Transport, the sector Minister, Mr. Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, said government had decided to seek a review of parts of the law.
ACCORDING to the statement issued on the matter, the decision was taken following “extensive consultation between the minister for transport and stakeholders in the transport sector,” adding that government will seek a review of the contract and review parts of the law to specifically achieve the following objective: “Removal from the law, the concept of a mandatory towing levy on all owners and persons in charge of motor vehicles and trailers.”
WE have monitored the media extensively since the government’s announcement on the cancellation of the towing levy and can attest to the fact that many have received the news with cheers. We are also sure this latest move will bring a sigh of relief to, especially commercial vehicle owners, who have raised several issues with the mandatory nature of the law.
TODAY joins the many Ghanaians who are elated with the latest move by government on the issue of mandatory towing levy. What we need at this stage in our development is a government that listens. A government that is sensitive to the concerns of citizens, especially when it involves laws that would burden the people.
NOW that government has withdrawn the towing levy for further review, we expect that the next stage of consultations will not only be broader but will also be deeper and to the satisfaction of all the stakeholders.
WE recall an earlier comment we made on this subject matter last month where we called on government to ensure that a broader consultation is done on the towing levy before its implementation. In that same comment, we advised government to also handle the matter tactfully to prevent the country from incurring any future judgement debt.
NOW that government has announced the suspension of the mandatory towing levy, we expect that all the problematic areas involved in the towing of broken down vehicles on our roads and which have been identified as a major contributory factor to fatalities would be addressed once and for all.
WE should not delay in getting a workable and actionable law in place sooner than later bearing in mind that the country cannot wait to see any more lives lost to reckless abandonment of broken down vehicles on our roads. An active vehicle towing regime will go a long way to prevent needless accidents on our roads.