Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, July 05, 2017
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has commenced an initiative to hand over the management of some toll booths in the country to people with disabilities (PWDs) as part of efforts to create more jobs for the people.
The programme, dubbed ‘Physically Challenged Road Toll Booth,’ was officially launched at the Pobiman Toll Booth Plaza on the Accra-Nsawam-Kumasi Highway by the Ministry of Roads and Highways in collaboration with the Ministry of Information.
Minister for Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, said at the launch that the programme had been designed to empower persons living with disabilities as well as harness their skills.
He said he was personally fulfilling the promise he made before the Appointments Committee of Parliament, that if he was given the nod, he was going to ensure that at least 50% quota of employment in the roads sector would be reserved for PWDs.
“Some people might see PWDs as a nuisance but this government, under President Akufo-Addo, sees them as people with full potentials who need to be given the opportunity to contribute to GDP of the nation,” he said.
He recalled that during his time as DCE, 2% of the District Assembly Common Fund was utilized to the benefit of PWDs and said they are now benefiting from the projects being undertaken.
Mr Amoako-Atta gave the assurance that by the end of this year about 200 PWDs would have been recruited and trained for the toll booth jobs, adding that about 80 had already been trained to take over the booths.
The minister revealed that the government was in the process of automating the toll booths to prevent managers from diverting cash into private pockets and warned that anyone found culpable of cheating the system would not be spared by the law.
He added that the construction works on major roads and other projects under the ministry would resume immediately in order to ensure accessible transportation in the country.
Ofori Debrah, Chairman of the Ghana Federation of the Disabled (GFD), expressed appreciation to President Akufo-Addo and the NPP government for creating opportunities for persons with disabilities to be absorbed into the job market.
He said the toll booth management initiative for PWDs is a step in the right direction since it opens job opportunities for them, will help to raise their economic status and enhance their social image.
Mr Ofori Debrah said that the federation facilitated the recruitment, ensuring that everyone had the information and those who expressed interest and applied were 250.
Mr. Debrah however, appealed to the government not to make the toll booth management initiative the only opportunity for PWDs but open more avenues for them to be employed.