Kwasi Amoako-Atta – Minister of Roads and Highways
Some former toll booth attendants besieged the Ministry of Roads and Highways on Thursday, May 12, 2022, to demand the payment of their five-month salaries and reassignment.
The workers are calling on government to fulfil its promise by giving them jobs.
One of them said “I have been sitting at home for a while now with no money. I have not been able to pay my rent. So today, I am not leaving here if there is no good news. Some of my colleagues are persons with disabilities who have families. We are not leaving here with no jobs. We are here to sleep.”
This followed government’s directive that the collection of road and bridge tolls at all locations nationwide should be stopped.
Government assured to reassign the attendants and continue paying them their salaries during the waiting period, but the government is yet to fulfill its promise.
However, responding to their plight, the Ministry of Roads and Highways says it is in the process of reassigning all the toll collectors who have been rendered jobless after its decision to close all toll booths across the country.
The Deputy Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, Isaac Adjei Kwakye said no definite date can be given for when the reassignment will be done, but the ministry is working to ensure it happens soon.
“We will reassign them through the company [that employed them]. As and when the processes are completed, they will be reassigned. It is not as if we have abandoned them. As soon as possible, they will be reassigned. This reassignment is a process and not an event. When it is done, we will get them reassigned through the company, and they will be called,” he said.
Adjei Kwakye said the government is working on their reassignment.
He however denied claims that the government owes the former toll collectors.
According to him, the government only engages the private company contracted to undertake the toll collection.
He said the government is aware that the former collectors were paid for the months of November and December 2021 and are thus owed four months’ salary, but that is between them and their employers, the private company.
“It is not true that they’ve not been paid for seven months. In fact, after the presentation of the 2022 budget in Parliament in November 2021, they have been paid their November and December salaries. The outstanding ones have to do with January, February, March and April 2022,” he said.
“As we speak today, we have been honouring our obligations as far as the company is concerned. The non-payment of salaries is not from our part but let’s be honest, since December last year they have not worked,” he added.
By Vincent Kubi