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Business News of Saturday, 28 August 2021


Govt, labour unions must work to create conducive business environment – Veep

Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana Mahamudu Bawumia, Vice President of Ghana

The Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia has stressed the need for a strong tri-partite relationship between government and labour unions for a harmonious business environment.

He said it was a way to attract investors who we need to grow the economy for the future.

He said this at the 11th Quadrennial Delegates Conference of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union at the University of Professional Studies in Accra yesterday.

The occasion was on the theme “The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on business and labour: The role of social partners.”

It brought together 410 delegates from eleven regions and other organisations such as the Ghana Employers Association, Social Security and National Insurance Trust and National Labour Commission.

The Vice President stated that while not totally eliminated, the suffering of Ghanaians and Ghanaian workers, we can point to specific policy interventions that have mitigated the suffering.

“At least 750,000 public sector workers have been recruited. Of the public sector jobs created to date (2020 half-year included), 84,183 are under the Forest Plantation Programme, 92,000 are Health and Medical Personnel, 74,000 are Teachers and Non-Teaching Staff, 6,718 are Lecturers in Tertiary Institutions, and 184,593 are employed through Youth Employment Agency (YEA), among many others. Security Services,” he added.

He said under the Presidential Empowerment for Male Entrepreneurs with Disability (PEMED) an amount of GH¢2 million has been earmarked for 1,000 male Persons Living with Disabilities (PLWD).

He said the severe debilitating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the day-to-day lives of Ghanaian workers, most especially on industrial workers, cannot be overemphasised.

“The worldwide debilitating effects of the pandemic included disruptions to supply chains in production, economic slowdown, uncertain demand in markets and the loss of jobs and livelihoods,” he added.

He stated that the financial Sector clean up was necessary, adding that it was on the brink of total collapse.

“The decision was painful but had to be taken but saved the payment system and the bigger financial system and safeguarded the hard-earned lifetime investments of over 4 million depositors, many of whom were workers,” he said.

Dr Bawumia said without the financial sector clean up, most of our indigenous banks could not have withstood the shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said the nation would have been in dire straits and the impact on workers would have been devastating.

The Vice President urged ICU Ghana to boldly contribute to building stronger corporate governance cultures across the various institutions.

The outgoing General Secretary, Mr Solomon Kotei reiterated the call for the government to scrap the overtime tax.

He said workers have sacrificed their time to do overtime with no substantial reward.

Mr Kotei said the emergence of the novel of COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana since the first quarter of the year 2020 has dealt a grievous blow to business and labour.

He said there is the need to initiate programmes and actions that can help us arrest the decline in business and national economy and ensure resuscitation of collapsed and distressed businesses.

The Vice-Chancellor of UPSA, Professor Abednego Feehi Okoe Amartey in his remarks commended ICU Ghana for their contribution in promoting labour issues in the country.

He called on public institutions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.