Twi News

‘Tollbooths for washrooms’ – Amoako-Attah denies media reportage

Kwasi Amoako-Attah

Wed, 9 Feb 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Kwasi Amoako-Attah has dismissed media reportage on tollbooth for urinal

He said, his comments to the media was taken out of context

He claims it is a proposal by the government

Kwasi Amoako-Attah, the Roads and Highways Minister, has dismissed media reports about his reported statement that government intends to convert tollbooths across the country into washrooms.

According to him, the reports by the various media houses are untrue, stating that, the intended plan is among many others being considered by the government.

He stated further that, the suggestion which has been met with widespread criticisms has also been misconstrued by the media and a section of the public.

Parliament's Ranking Member for Roads and Transport Committee, Governs Kwame Agbodza during a presentation revealed that about GH¢4 million out of a €200 million deal has been earmarked to construct more tollbooths.

So, the Adaklu MP questioned why the Minister will, on one hand, seek to convert existing tollbooths into urinals yet has asked for approval to borrow money to construct new ones.

The Minister, however, interjected describing the Adaklu MP’s comment as one made out of ignorance.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament in response to a question raised by Adaklu MP, the Minister explained that he was providing answers to a specific question about what next for the tollbooths to which he provided one of the several proposals.

“It was an interview, but a small portion of it is what has been taken by the media. I was speaking to the press and they wanted to know the future of all the tollbooths and among others, I said the Ministry has plans and the government is thinking of a lot ways of putting the tollbooths to use, and I said that we have about 38 of them at various vantage points in the country, to improve the sanitary situation. For instance, on the highways we have vehicles stopping indiscriminately and drivers and passengers getting down urinating everywhere and it’s too indecent.”

The Minister suggested that, his earlier comments to the press have been taken out of context.

Amoako-Attah’s comments may come across as a U-turn as he struggled to provide a convincing clarification to his colleague MP.

He however added that no firm decision had been taken on the plan, as his Ministry is still considering proposals on the next line of action for all tollbooths nationwide, following government’s decision to abolish the collection of tolls.

“I suggested that [tollbooths will be turned into washrooms] among other things. So it wasn’t a statement I made anywhere. It was an interview and only that portion was picked.

“You do not have access and you are not privy to the entire interview so as a Member of Parliament why did you pick this alone, [it means] you are ignorant,” he stated.

Muntaka Mubarak, MP, Asawase and the Minority Chief Whip, reminded his colleague that, using the word “ignorant” was unparliamentary.

He read portions of the standing orders of the House to get the Minister to withdraw the ignorant charge against the Adaklu MP.

But the Minister clarified by saying, “Mr Speaker, with the greatest respect, he may disagree with a colleague in whatever form but to describe what he is saying as ignorant and speaking out of ignorance is improper in our standing orders.” He took a cue from the presiding Speaker and subsequently retracted his use of the word 'ignorant.'

He later apologised and retracted using ignorant on his colleague.


But what did the Minister say?

Kwasi Amoako-Attah, in an interview with the media, disclosed that tollbooths across the country could be used to serve another public purpose since the collection of road tolls has been abolished by the government.

“We even want to refurbish all tollbooth structures to provide proper and decent washrooms for the use by motorists, so we advised them to desist from that practice where sometimes you see cars stopping on the highway and people getting down to wee-wee as we usually see”, he said.

He has clarified the comment, indicating that it was taken out of context.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com