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Opinions of Monday, 3 May 2021

Columnist: Ruth Dela Seddoh

Prez Akufo Addo's gift to the Ghanaian worker on workers' day - The paradox of workers’ day 2021

President Nana Akufo-Addo President Nana Akufo-Addo

Another cycle ends, or begins on 1st May 2021. Ghana joins others around the world to celebrate our working class on the event of International Workers Day, or Labour/Labor Day as others will have it.

I would like to take this opportunity to say “Ayekoo” to the Ghanaian worker who has persevered against all odds this past four and a half years.

As we celebrate our diligent workers today, one would have thought that President Akufo-Addo's administration would introduce a rather sensitive policy to mitigate the hardships we have been saddled with due to the Covid-19 pandemic which for the purpose of this piece I will label as force majeure.

The Poisoned Chalice

Additionally, an as-yet-unknown, but significant number of Ghanaian workers have lost their jobs or have had their regular incomes reduced owing to the inhumane collapse of the banking sector and the Covid-19- induced lay-offs (temporary and permanent). Whatever the true number is, it translates to several multiples of itself in terms of affected livelihoods.

In spite of all this, the “gift” Akufo Addo /Bawumia government could offer workers on this day of celebration, is an unprecedented raft of tax and levy increments and the introduction of new ones. Among them are the;

• Financial Sector Clean-up Levy on banks (guess who the final burden-bearer is) • COVID-19 health Levy • Sanitation and Pollution Levy • Energy Sector Levy etc which will cause a further price hike in petroleum products, talk time/data volumes and more.

The current state of power supply"Dumsor" that has bedeviled us has worsened the plight of our folks engaged in small to medium scale businesses almost leaving them in utter despair.

With the state of our roads, the least said about it, the better.

The question that is on the mind of every ordinary Ghanaian is "How our taxes collected have been appropriated", "What has been the use of the over 171 billion Ghs loans contracted by Akufo Addo/Bawumia administration" or What about the millions of cedis H. E. John Dramani Mahama left behind"?

While we salute you, dear workers, and celebrate with you, we are also mindful to commiserate with you on these troubling issues, know that it is only going to get worse under this callous Akufo /Bawumia Presidency.

But we can ask for accountability and absolute accountability at that; demand it!!! Let us all speak up.

Happy Workers Day to you all and may God bless our homeland Ghana.