Tollbooth operators have cast doubt on government’s intention to reassign them following the decision to abolish all forms of tolls on public roads.
Speaking on Angel FM’s Anopa Bofo Breakfast show, a tollbooth operator, Mariam Karim stated that for the reassignment, we don’t believe it; if it were so they would have announced where they are taking us too and besides Finance Minister says the payroll is full.
The Minister of Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, stated that government will abolish all forms of tolls on public roads and bridges during the presentation of the 2022 ‘Agyenkwa’ budget on Wednesday, November 17, 2021.
Addressing members of the house, he said “the tolling points have led to heavy vehicular traffic and lengthened travel time from one place to another, impacting negatively on time and productivity. The congestion generated at the tolling points, besides creating these inconveniences, also leads to pollution in and around those vicinities.”
“To address these challenges, Government will zero-rate tolls on all public roads and bridges. This takes effect immediately the Budget is approved. The tolling points will be removed and the toll collection personnel reassigned,” he revealed.
However, Mariam Karim and Ernest Antwi, both tollbooth operators on the Kasoa stretch fear they might remain jobless for long.
According to Madam Karim, their counterparts in Kumasi have been unemployed for over a year now after the Minister for Roads and Highways closed down one of the tollbooths for a road expansion project due to massive traffic.
She explained that Kwasi Amoako-Attah closed down the Kugasi tollbooth for some maintenance work and promised to pay the workers during their three-month stay at home.
It has been a year now and they have not been paid ever since they went home though they are less than 30 individuals.
Despite the tollbooth operators’ fears of unemployment, Tolls and Routes Management, the company responsible for managing the tollbooths, has expressed faith that government will reassign their employees.
“Per the initial discussions we’ve had, we believe that government is going to fully hold its end of the bargain,” Samuel Abrah Adjei said in a Citi News interview.