Disability Council to engage gov’t on toll booth abolishing

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The National Council for Persons with Disabilities and other disability organizations are to begin engagements with the Transport Ministry and the Ghana Highway Authority over the number of persons with disabilities who have been rendered unemployed as a result of the abolishing of the road tolls which takes effect on Thursday.

The Council says they were not consulted on the decision to scrap the toll booth which has taken effect across the country.

Over one hundred and twenty persons with disabilities worked in toll booths across the country but some were dismissed.

Wednesday’s 2022 budget and economic policy presentation by the Finance and Economic Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta saw the abolishing of toll booths.

Hours after the presentation, the Minister of Roads and Highways, Kwasi Amoako Atta directed that collection of the tolls to stop by 12AM Thursday November 18, 2021.

A statement he issued on Wednesday November 17 after the budget presentation by the Finance Minister said “Following the presentation of the 2022 budget by the Finance Minister on behalf of the President of the republic of Ghana on Wednesday November 17, 2021, the Ministry of Road and Highways hereby directs the cessation of collection of road and bridge tolls at all locations nationwide. This directive takes immediate effect from 12am on Thursday November 18 2021”.

The directives added that “the Motor traffic and transport Department (MTTD) of the Ghana Police Service will be on hand to provide security at the toll locations from the effective date. Motorists are kindly advised to approach the locations with caution and observe all safety measures that will be put in place. The motoring public will be advised of further measures in due course”, but there was no MTTD official at post.

Reacting to the issue on 3FM’s Sunrise on Thursday hosted by Alfred Ocansey, the National Chairman of the Chairman of the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, Yaw Ofori Debrah, explained that “a number of our members are involved and the issue of much concerned is the immediate implementation of this measure”.

“We thought it was going to take effect after Parliamentary approval. The issue is how are we going to get our people reassigned as stated in the budget is a million dollar question for us”.

He said “we the council and other disability organizations will quickly start engagement with the government and we don’t even know where to start from…whether the Ministry or the Roads and Highways”.

Asked on whether they were engaged as a Council on the decision to abolish the tolls, Mr. Debrah said “the engagements started but we never thought it was going to immediate”.

“We thought there was going to be time to prepare. We thought if anything at all, it will take effect from January because as it stands now, how do they survive from now till December. There was no consultation…there was no discussions anywhere…there was no form of assurance from anywhere. We heard it during the budget”.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|3news.com|Ghana