Leader of about 500 persons with disability toll collectors who were rendered jobless by the government of Ghana’s decision to close down all toll booths, Rashad Mahammed Rahmat has vowed to organise his colleagues to occupy the streets should the road tolls be reintroduced without them getting re-employed.
The toll workers were promised redeployment after they were relieved of their jobs upon a directive by the Government in November 2021 to abolish the collection of tolls on roads and bridges in the country however the affected workers are yet to be reassigned over a year later.
Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta said the cessation of the road tolls was to enhance productivity, reduce environmental pollution and to reduce the heavy traffic that road tolls were found to cause nationwide.
“I am hoping that they open the tollbooth; ‘walahi’ I will go and lie down on the street if they don’t employ us so that I will create a scene for the world to see that the government is not trying to help. What the government promised is a political talk.”
He expressed sentiment that the authorities are not communicating with them as if they have nothing to do with the disgruntled former road toll collectors; and that the government can’t just sack them from the work it promised to give them.
“Life is very unbearable and because of that I have developed a stomach ulcer but I can’t go on the street to beg too. If not for God and the intervention of some people, I would have committed suicide.” Rashad Mohammed to Helen Appiah Ampofo on 3FM Sunrise Morning Show
He proposed that the persons with disabilities who were working at the toll booth could be grouped according to their professions or special skills to establish their firms and assisted with loans or grants to operate the businesses and employ others.
“If we are empowered to establish our businesses to make a living and give a comfortable life for our families, I think we would not even worry about the road toll collection again.”
“We are telling the government and we know this is not beyond him. We are still at home, most of us are crying, especially the women with children whom they are taking care of without husbands. The government has not given us anything and we are waiting for them to reopen the toll so we can go back and work. If not, they should create other avenues for us to work and feed our family” he appealed.
By Samuel Afriyie Owusu|3news.com|Ghana
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