While the debate over the mandatory towing levy continues, a video has emerged in which President John Mahama in December 2016, provides some assurance to Chairman of Jospong Group over the plan to charge the compulsory levy.
The public is demanding answers to how government awarded a contract binding all motorist in Ghana to pay a mandatory towing levy beginning July 1, 2017.
The contract was signed based on LI 2180, passed in 2012. The law was given five years fallow period after which it would jump to life in 2017.
It appears the Jospong Group, whose subsidiary won the bid, may have had presidential endorsement to the 20-year lucrative contract that will see the Road Safety Management Limited and its allied companies pocket 85% of the levies.
Before President John Mahama left office, he attended the 10th anniversary of Zoomlion where he dropped hints about a controversial plan to charge every motorist a mandatory levy for towing.
“I am urging him [Joseph Siaw Agyepong] not to abandon that idea… we will come back to it to see how we will improve towing services”, he said in December 2016, a few days to the general elections.
Photo: Joseph Siaw, CEO of Jospong Group of Companies at the 10th anniversary celebration
“We will still visit that particular business”, he repeated the assurance.
Some operators in the vehicle towing sector have accused the National Road Safety Commission and the Road Safety Management Services Limited of ‘stealing their concept’ which they had developed about five years before the formation of the Jospong company.
Public criticism has been growing against the plan. Some question why motorists must be compelled to pay for a service they may never use.
They argue that even National Health Insurance Scheme is not mandatory. Others have also raised questions about the credibility of the company which has been awarded the contract.
On Newsfile last Saturday, the Vice President of IMANI Ghana and private legal practioner, Kofi Bentil, said the Jospong Group was a “problematic business conglomerate” which failed to perform creditably in “almost every contract awarded to it.”
But the National Road Safety Commission insists mandatory towing is the only way to ensure the roads are free of wreckage.
Jospong Group of Companies’ corporate reputation is questionable. The World Bank placed a ban on Zoomlion Ghana Limited for two years over alleged bribery in Liberia.
Another subsidiary, Better Ghana Management Services Limited, had its contract with government terminated after a damning corruption report in the Youth Employment Programme.
Despite this background, President John Mahama at the 10th anniversary of Jospong Group of Companies was emphatic;
“I wish to assure you that as long as I remain president, government will give your company every support [for you] to continue to grow”.