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YEA Employs 282 Former Tollbooth Workers

The CEO of YEA, Kofi Agyepong, said the agency recognised the plight of the former tollbooth workers, especially the PWDs, who lost their livelihoods as a result of the policy change.

Following the government’s decision to halt road toll collection in Ghana, the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has stepped in to offer employment opportunities to 282 individuals who were previously employed as tollbooth workers. This initiative primarily targets persons with disabilities (PWDs) who are now jobless due to the policy change.

The agency made this announcement during a press briefing held in Accra on Thursday, February 22, 2024, emphasizing its dedication to nurturing inclusivity and empowerment within the workforce as a fundamental aspect of its mission.

The CEO of YEA, Kofi Agyepong, said the agency recognised the plight of the former tollbooth workers, especially the PWDs, who lost their livelihoods as a result of the policy change.

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“While this decision elicited widespread enthusiasm, we must acknowledge its consequential impact on a segment of our society that found itself in a precarious situation. Specifically, over 200 Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) experienced a loss of livelihood as a direct result of this policy shift. These individuals, previously employed as breadwinners for their families, were now faced with unemployment and its accompanying hardships,” he said.

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The CEO of YEA Kofi Agyepong speaking at the event

Acknowledging the necessity for proactive measures, the YEA undertook an extensive recruitment campaign in partnership with government ministries and advocacy organizations to offer alternative employment avenues for these indiv iduals.

“Rather than lamenting the circumstances, we viewed this as an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to effecting positive change,” he added.

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He said the 282 former tollbooth workers were successfully employed as staff members of YEA and assigned to roles such as Regional Disability Desk Officers and District Disability Desk Officers, covering all regions and 266 operational districts of the agency.

Mr. Agyepong expressed his immense joy, stating, “This employment not only provides them with a sense of pride and financial stability but also positions of influence, enabling them to contribute meaningfully to policy formulation and implementation concerning disability rights.”

He said the agency also developed other programmes such as the Business and Employment Assistance Programme (BEAP), Youth in Skills training, and the garment and textile training initiative under the Garment and Textile module, to ensure equitable opportunities for all individuals.

In ensuring the welfare and social security of its newly employed PWDs, the agency guaranteed them equitable treatment and access to the same benefits enjoyed by other government employees, reiterating the YEA’s unwavering commitment to championing the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities in Ghana.

The cancellation of road tolls in Ghana was announced in the 2022 budget presentation by the former Minister of Finance, Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta. The reasons given for the removal of road tolls were to enhance productivity, reduce environmental pollution, and alleviate the heavy traffic caused by toll collection points nationwide.

Additionally, the passage of the E-Levy bill was cited as a reason for the removal of the road tolls. However, the government’s decision to abolish road tolls was not without controversy, and there have been discussions about the potential reintroduction, possibly with electronic features.

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