Opinion: Increasing the Revenue Capacity of Ghana for Accelerated Development – a Proposal for e-Tolling
The Administrator of Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) – Mr. Prince Ofosu Sefah is making a strong case for increasing the revenue capacity of Ghana for accelerated development through an e-Tolling System.
He said that, in line with this Government’s Digital Agenda, including a timely refocus on digital channels for revenue generation, he proposes a Policy Change and the building of requisite infrastructure for e-Tolling such as exists on Highway 407 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
In this e-Tolling system, Radio Frequency (RF) Technology may be utilised, with a Transponder or Tagging System.
This system will cause minimal traffic congestions at the Toll Booths since there will be no barriers at the Booths, virtually all the time.
Motorists will be charged a normal rate, with preloaded Transponders or Tags (with Credit), as affixed on their vehicles, which will be read by appropriate Radios, triggering applicable automatic account debits and requisite notification via SMS and/or email addresses, as setup on each Motorist’s account.
For those vehicles without applicable preloaded Transponders or Tags (with requisite Credit), for ease of traffic, the vehicle will ordinarily be allowed to pass through but pictures of its license plates will be automatically captured and processed, to apply to the associated License Plate and Transponder/Tag. Due notifications will also be sent out via SMS and/or email addresses setup on the account, for each new charge.
Due to processing overhead, additional fees will also be charged on those without sufficient preloaded Credit on their Transponders/Tags, which set processing charge shall be markedly higher than the normal charge.
There shall be a barrier which occasionally shall be automatically activated for vehicles owing amounts beyond a set threshold, for MTTD processing, which shall include an additional fine, to be monitored by the system, with a counter and controls for compliance, whenever activated.
The processing support of this system should create a lot jobs, including ones primed for ICT Professionals, the Youth and PWDs.
A last resort for e-Toll Arrears payment can be at a point when a vehicle needs to renew its Road Worthy Certificate.
This e-Tolling system can further be used to ensure more compliance with valid/active vehicle insurance coverage, Road Worthy Certificates, etc.
We can build the system to widen the original net of the Toll Payers, while eliminating the need for any vehicle to pay more than a set maximum number of times within each 24-hour period. Finally, payment relating to e-Tolling may be exempted from the e-Levy.