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Opinions of Thursday, 4 May 2017

Columnist: Katakyie Kwame Opoku Agyemang

Mr. President, appeals can't change workers' attitude

Since time immemorial, appeals have emanated from presidents, religious leaders, philanthropists, foreign dignitaries, and prominent chiefs for Ghanaians to change their attitude in all spheres of life. The chorus for attitudinal change becomes intense whenever there is a change of government.

These appeal makers believe that, when negative attitude to work, the environment, and sanitation are done away with, it will go a long way in improving productivity and consequently the overall development of the country and its citizens.

But, how many of us have changed our attitudes as being expected? We still go to work very late and when we go, production hours are misused. The environment is being destroyed threatening our survival as humans on earth.

People continue to take the law into their own hands whilst corruption is at its peak.

Why then should the appeal for attitudinal change continue when such calls have proven to be ineffective, Mr. President? This therefore calls for an in depth analysis to find out why the average Ghanaian is hesitant to attitudinal change.

For me, the solution goes beyond mere appeals. Most developed nations do not appeal to their citizens to start work on time, drive carefully on the road or not to litter the environment. The appeals lie in the efficacy of the law, for, the law is no respecter of persons in those countries.

The government should make the bold decision by providing good working conditions for public and civil servants as being done for certain category of politicians. The tools and equipment for production must also be made available to workers. The government must improve supervision through evaluation and assessment of work and the productivity of the Ghanaian worker would definitely come to bare. Are Ghanaians working in America and Europe lazy? Obviously the answer is no, but let the same Ghanaian worker come to Ghana and find himself in the public sector. He would relax as if he was not the one doing two different jobs in Europe.

The late Prophet Bob Marley once said; "Give them an inch, they take a yard, give them a yard and they take a mile". Until we become serious with the welfare of the Ghanaian worker and put in place systems to check the excesses, the Ghanaian worker will continue not only to demand money from people who need his services, but also misuse production hours.

Finally, the government should consider fixing CCTV cameras and time clocks at work places starting from the Ministries, Departments and Agencies to check activities of employees, their movements and attendance whilst paying them better salaries. Those who meet the standard should have their salaries slashed. If this is not done, the president will come again and complain about laziness, petty thievery, and corruption at work places, come the next May Day.