The 2016 Presidential Candidate of the New Patriotic Party, Nana Akufo-Addo, has charged President John Mahama to cut the lip-service, set his priorities right and respond to the growing concerns of Ghanaian workers.
In his May Day message, Nana Akufo-Addo lamented about the numerous problems confronting the Ghanaian worker, occasioned by the mismanagement of the economy and the fiscal indiscipline that has characterised the rule of the NDC government over the last six years, adding that workers “deserve better and the President must set his priorities right and respond to their concerns with deeds and not words.”
According to him, this year’s May Day celebrations come at a time “when the current state of our country, under this NDC government, is in disarray”, as Ghanaians, and most especially workers are bearing the full brunt of the economic mismanagement.
An economy in serious decline, evident in the $912 million IMF bailout package with its anticipated job cuts, widespread and rampant corruption, indecisive leadership, as well as the crippling effects of “dumsor dumsor”, which continues to cost the nation billions of Ghana cedis, Akufo-Addo said, are examples of the serious problems facing the nation.
As a result of these problems, he noted that “workers’ wages are only to see a 13% increase for the three-year period of the IMF bailout. This would, no doubt, make the Ghanaian worker poorer and poorer, as the cost of living gets ever higher than his or her take-home pay. Prior to this development, government, beginning this year, scrapped the 10% Cost of Living Allowance, despite the rising cost of living. Industries and small businesses are folding up because of ‘dumsor dumsor’, which has resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs.”
“The Ghanaian worker is suffering,” Akufo-Addo said
Inspite of these difficulties, Nana Akufo-Addo urged the “anxious Ghanaian workforce” not to lose hope.
“Stay faithful to the Ghanaian enterprise. A bright future awaits you. The NPP has shown, from 2001 to 2009, that we have the blueprint to ensuring greater employment and rapid economic growth. We have shown through our policies that we are far better in responding to the welfare of the masses. Under the NPP, Ghana saw a significant, unprecedented expansion of the national economy, which led to higher real wages and more jobs,” he said.
He continued, “We remain committed to the enhancement of the dignity of the Ghanaian labour force. The structural transformation of the Ghanaian economy, with the goal of industrialising and adding value to our primary products, and an uncompromising adherence to value for money in the use of the public purse will be the means by which we will expand economic activity and public infrastructure to create the necessary numbers of high-paying jobs that will enhance the living standards of the mass of our people.”
Nana Akufo-Addo reassured Ghanaian workers about the commitment of the NPP to building a society of opportunities for the Ghanaian people, which will provide good education, good skills, good jobs and good pay for all its citizens.
“Together, we can build a nation that we can leave to our children and their children with pride and dignity. The wellbeing of the Ghanaian workforce and the future of their children are our priorities,” he stated.