SUNYANI: Assembly loses revenue as taxi drivers refuse to pay daily toll

By Kweku Antwi Jnr

The Sunyani Municipal Assembly in the Brong Ahafo Region is losing huge sums of money since taxi drivers in one of the lorry parks in the Municipality have stopped paying daily tolls for almost two weeks.

Taxi drivers said they will not pay the daily toll because of the deplorable nature of the lorry park.

Several attempts by the Assembly and the leadership of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU) to intervene for them pay the daily toll of GHS1.00 have proved futile.

Last week, the taxi drivers drove away the revenue officers from the Assembly who stormed the lorry park to collect the tolls, threatening to manhandle them.

They said they will not pay the toll if lorry park is not constructed.

The Public Relations Officer for Municipal Assembly, Edwin Kofi Darkey, in an interview with PrimeNewsGhana said the Assembly has done all it can to persuade them to pay the toll but the drivers have been adamant.

“Last week Thursday, they [drivers] said the week had ended so they would start payment on Monday. On Monday, they started paying but one driver told them not pay so they stopped”, he explained.

He said “each driver is mandated to pay GHS1.00 daily but yesterday, the revenue collectors who were there to collect the toll came back to the office because they said the drivers refused to pay”.

Asked when the lorry park will be constructed, Mr. Darkey explained that the lorry park has been awarded to a contractor to begin work but he is unable to begin due to the recent rains in the Municipality.

He promised that the moment the rain recedes, work will commence at the lorry park.

The National Vice Chairman of the GPRTU, Robert Sarbah, when contacted said “it is most unfortunate but may be they [Assembly] could not explain to them well why they are to pay the daily tolls”.

“The toll is not specifically meant for the development of the lorry park. You are expected to pay a toll to the Assemblies…that is the law”, he explained.

He said the “where you earn you money, it is your [drivers] responsibility to make sure the place is in good shape”.

“We are appealing to them to exercise restrains. It is totally unacceptable for them to say they will not pay. This is lawlessness”, he explained.

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