The Ministry of Roads and Highways has launched the Persons with Disability (PWDs) Road Toll Initiative.
The initiative forms part of commitment the sector Minister, Kwasi Amoako Attah 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 Attah 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.
He added that, the 50 percent quota reserved for persons living with disability, represents a total of 200 slots, but the initiative will commence with about 80 PWDs across the nation.
The beneficiaries of the initiative he stressed, have undergone essential skills training which has equipped them not just for the manning of the toll booths, but other jobs.
He added that, the initiative will help empower PWDs by “giving effect to the fact that disability is not inability. My ministry is open to harnessing the skills of PWDs regardless of their physical conditions in executing our agenda. This project therefore also offers a lead in the implementation of that manifesto commitment to PWDs by first setting the example.’’
The Minister said, with the exception of Ngleshie Amanfrom, Accra Plaza, and 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.
“PWDs in the past pushed for some quota of jobs; but it yielded no results and so we will commend the Nana Addo administration for this bold initiative. Over 250 applications were received and out of that number, 172 availed themselves for interviews and out of that number, 72 were selected for the first phase of the project.”
“The Ministry of Roads and Highways has directed the federation to re-open for application and training to ensure that the two hundred representing the 50 percent quota is achieved”
“Today marks a very historic event for PWDS. Our long cherished dream has been fulfilled through the efforts of the Roads and Highways Minister. On behalf of the federation, we express our utmost appreciation to the government of Nana Addo and his cabinet for ensuring that PWDs are given a pride of place in Ghana…We are impressed” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Highway Authority, Mr. Victor Owusu, said payment for the beneficiaries will be prompt and their social security will also be catered for.
He assured the federation of his outfit’s support in the management of the initiative. Some beneficiaries of the initiative expressed their gratitude to government and promised to work hard for more opportunities to come their way.
By: Philip Nii Lartey/citifmonline.com/Ghana