74 Persons with disability engaged to collect road tolls

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta (right), Minister of Roads and Highways congratulating Ms Stella Ahiadegbe, one of the PWDs, at a tollbooth
Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta (right), Minister of Roads and Highways congratulating Ms Stella Ahiadegbe, one of the PWDs, at a tollbooth

The First batch of 74 persons with disability (PWDs) has been recruited to work at tollbooths across the country.

Additional 126 will be engaged later this month.

The move, according to the Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, is in line with an initiative by the government to create employment opportunities for PWDs in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).

Mr Amoako-Atta made this observation at Pobi Asaawa, near Amasaman in the Ga West municipality of the Greater Accra Region, yesterday at the launch of an initiative by the ministry to recruit 200 PWDs as road toll collectors in all 35 booths across the country.


Launch

The launch, which was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and the Ghana Federation of Disability Organisations (GFD), brought together government officials, traditional rulers and a section of the public.

Deputy Ministers of Roads and Highways and Information, Messrs Anthony Abayifa Karbo and Perry Okudzeto, were also at the launch.

Directive

The minister said the recruitment of the PWDs was to give real meaning to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo's directive to all MDAs to reserve special positions for PWDs.

“The New Patriotic Party (NPP) made a commitment in its 2016 manifesto to empower PWDs by providing them with job opportunities that will make life decent for them.

"When I appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament to be vetted as a minister designate, I personally made the commitment to reserve 50 per cent of employment opportunities at the 35 tollbooths in the country to PWDs. Today's event is a manifestation of that commitment and the beginning of more initiatives to empower PWDs,” he said.

He observed that the government would come up with more policy initiatives that would address the key challenges physically challenged persons faced and also integrate them into the wider society.

“PWDs should not be seen as an economic burden. Rather, they constitute an untapped population with enormous potential that has to be harnessed to support the national development agenda,” he said.

Mr Amoako-Atta urged other government agencies, as well as the private sector to reserve employment opportunities for PWDs.

Good initiative

The President of Ghana Federation of the Disabled, Mr Yaw Ofori-Debrah, lauded the government for the initiative, describing it as a giant step and an important milestone that would address the challenges of PWDs.

"The launch of this initiative is important because it will improve the economic condition of PWDs and also enhance their social image," he stated.

Mr Ofori-Debrah said PWDs were satisfied with the level of engagement and involvement of the GFD towards rolling out the initiative and appealed to the government to come up with more of such programmes to support PWDs.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA), Mr Victor Owusu, gave an assurance that the right mechanisms would be put in place to guarantee the safety of all PWDs in the tollbooths.

He said there would be no discrimination against PWDs at the tollbooths.