President Nana Akufo-Addo has given what appears to be a ‘hopeless’ response to the various Ghana Labour Unions protests and threats of strike rocking the country in recent times. The President in responding to the agitations never attempted painting a nice picture, but told the unions pointblank that, “there is no money”.
Speaking at a meeting with the leadership of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) in the wake of the protests, President Nana Addo said that so many things that hitherto would have been easy to do will henceforth be difficult to accomplish because of lack of funds.
“There are some things that should be easy to deal with but will prove difficult for some time to come largely because there is no money,” the president stated.
Nana Addo once again reiterated his most popular complaint that he inherited a bad economy from his predecessor in all its ramifications – “both in terms of the growth of our economy and the balances available in the public treasury”. The President pointed out that most of the grievances of the labour unions were caused by poor management of the state coffers; adding that they would all have been solved if there were funds.
“…If we had money in the public system, you would find that many of the issues that concern you would not be there,” he stated.
The President however, assured that measures are being put in place to improve government’s generation of revenue, in order to take are of the various Ghana Labour Unions protests.
Continuing, Nana Addo noted that one of the most apparent financial problems has to do with leaks in the system resulting from corruption, maladministration and so on. He therefore, pointed out the need put in place measures that will block off all the fraudulent means through which a good part of government’s revenue are being lost. This, he said will go a long way to enhance the money required for funding development in the country, and as well reduce the rate at which the country is asking for foreign aid.
And frankly, the Akufo-Addo administration is really looking out for ways to save the country some money which are currently going into some wrong and undeserving pockets. Latest on the least of these protective measures is the issue of payroll cleaning, which has seen the removal of a total 26,589 names of “ghost workers” from the public sector payroll. In this vein, government is looking to save the nation about GHC433 million annually.
The so-called ghost employees and pensioners were removed from the payroll after their names were not seen on the new Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) biometric system.
And not like it was a mere threat; all the affected persons never received salaries for the month of April, 2017; a move that has attracted heated controversy among the populace, especially as some genuine workers were also affected.