The Ministry of Roads and Highways has launched the Persons with Disability (PWDs) Road Toll Initiative.
The first phase of the employment of Persons with Disability(PWD) has kicked off with eighty personnel manning about thirty one toll booths across the country.
The initiative forms part of commitment the sector Minister, Kwasi Amoako Atta pledged during his vetting to reserve at least 50 percent quota in all contracts in respect of manning toll booths for PWDs.
In his address, Kwasi Amoako Atta said, 3 percent of the nation’s population according to the 2010 Housing Population Census, represents PWDs, hence the need for government to create opportunities for them to contribute to the economy.
The target of the Roads and Highways Ministry is to employ about 391 representing 100%, but with 200 at the end of July this year representing 50%.
According to Kwasi Amoako Atta with the exception of Ngleshie Amanfrom, Accra Plaza, Tema Plaza and the Amasaman Booths, which are automated and are currently under contract, they intend to spread the 200 persons across the country.
According to him, plans are underway to automate the other booths and in the process, the beneficiaries will be trained to man them.
President of the Ghana Federation for Disability Organizations (GFD), Yaw Ofori Debrah commended government for the initiative.
He described it as historic for PWDs considering that successive governments paid lip service to their plight.
The Roads and Highways Ministry has explained that the agenda forms part of the New Patriotic Party Manifesto during the 2016 election where then candidate Nana Akufo-Addo now the President promised to encourage private institutions to reserve a quota of jobs that can be filled with persons with Disability.
This project also offers a lead in the implementation of the manifesto commitment to persons living with Disability by setting example.
According to the figures from the 2010 Population and Housing Census about 3% of Ghanaians fall under one scope of disability or the other and this constitute a significant portion of our population.
While some like to see them as ‘economic burdens’ this government see them as untapped potentials which can and should be properly harnessed by giving them right opportunity and environment to develop their full potentials and contribute to our GDP.
The beneficiaries of the initiative have undergone essential skills training which has equipped them not just for the manning of the toll booths, but other jobs.
Speaking in an interview at the launch, the Deputy Roads and Highways Minister, Anthony Abeyifa Karbo who doubles as the MP for Lawra said the Ministry in collaboration with the Ghana Federation of Disability Organization received 250 applications, and they interviewed 172 and finally employed 80 personnel for the first phase.
He added that the ministry has directed the Ghana Police Service to intensify security operation at the toll booth to scare off robbers on the roads.
He also assured the personnel of a well planned salary structure by ensuring their SSNIT contributions are paid on time.