Ranking Member on Parliament’s Roads and Transport Committee, Kwame Agbogza has dared the government to come out with the employment they have proffered to persons who were formerly working at toll collection points.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, presenting the 2022 budget statement on the floor of parliament, announced the government’s plans to scrap the payment of road tolls.
“Government has abolished all tolls on public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately after the budget is approved,” he announced on Wednesday, November 17.
He explained that “over the years, the tolling points have become unhealthy market centres, which led to heavy traffic on the roads, lengthened travel time from one place to another, and impacted negatively on productivity.
Ken Ofori-Atta mentioned that the “toll collection personnel will be reassigned.”
However, hours after the announcement, the Road Minister, Kwasi Amoako-Atta, directed the cessation of the collection of road and bridge tolls nationwide, effective Thursday, November 18, 2021.
This action left toll collection personnel redundant.
Speaking on the floor of Parliament on Thursday, November 25, 2021, Kwame Agbodza questioned the whereabouts of toll collection personnel following the closure of the collection point.
“Not too long ago, the Finance Minister came here and read the budget. The Finance Minister came here and used it as an achievement. They said about 50% of the people who were collecting toll at our barriers are disabled people.
“The Finance Minister stood here and used it as an achievement, only for the people to know that he was about to sack all of them. This morning, those disabled people, some who are mothers and others who were selling around the toll booth, show me where they are working?” he asked.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu has said that salaries will continue to be paid to physically challenged persons who were affected by the closure of the toll collection points.
“They were going to be in employment but for the removal of the toll booth, so we will take them on board. For those that need retooling, retraining, and so forth, we will do so and get them engaged in other things.
“But the fact of the matter is that we will continue to pay them until they are no more,” he said in a meeting with party communicators in the Western Region