The Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwesi Amoako Atta, has ordered that the Road Tolls Manager of the Ghana Highway Authority, Mr Emmanuel Spenter Baah, should be reassigned with immediate effect.
The order follows reports that the management of road tolls had flouted the government’s directive that 50 per cent of persons with disabilities (PWDs) must be recruited as road toll collectors.
For instance, the reports said in a recent recruitment of toll collectors, only 100 out of 664 were PWDs and even they were frustrated in the performance of their duty.
Speaking at the opening of a three-day retreat for management and board members of the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) in Accra yesterday, Mr Amoako Atta said: “I had complaints that PWDs were not allowed to enter the booths to work.
“l am told in some places they are told to go home but that they will be paid at the end of the month.
This is a clear sabotage of the government’s policy and it must stop,” he said.
The visibly angry minister said he wanted a toll manager who would work in accordance with government’s policy.
“I will not sit down for anyone to sabotage the government’s policy,” he added.
Mr Amoako Atta also directed the Chief Executive Officer of the GHA not to renew the contract of all those who were recruited recently and had completed their six-month contract.
He announced that a committee to be chaired by the Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways in charge of Toll, Mr Anthony Abeifaa Karbo, would be set up to investigate the issue and that those who would be found culpable would face the appropriate action.
Mr Amoako Atta expressed regret that “we are not getting the expected revenue from the tolls,” adding that a survey had established that the country was losing about 80 per cent of the toll revenue.
He lauded the work of the PWDs and said reports showed that when they were in charge of toll collection, the collections were always high.
Touching on the retreat, Mr Amoako Atta said the forum provided an ideal platform for the participants to reflect on their past performance and develop strategies to enhance future performance.
“While undertaking this retrospection, the GHA should reflect on the importance of the road infrastructure to our national economic performance and how GHA could obtain better value from the public money that is invested in road infrastructure,” the minister urged.
The Board Chairman of the GHA, Dr Francis Acheampong, reminded the directors that good road networks were crucial to the development of and successes of the government’s flagship programmes.
He asked for frank discussions that would engender solutions to the challenges confronting the sector.