Executive Director of Bastia Institute who is also an economist, Tweneboah Senzu, has blamed the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) for making the ‘formal sector unattractive’ to aid economic growth in the country.
His observation comes in the wake of the recent impasse between President John Dramani Mahama led-NDC government and the various labour unions in the country over their Tier-Two Pension contributions.
He could not understand why government was unwilling to allow the new Pension Law, which opens floodgates for competition, to work.
Such a move, he hinted, has the propensity of rendering the formal sector weak and thereby making it lose its relevance in the governance of the country.
“How do you attract more people into the formal sector when what the government can do best is to kill the initiative and desire in that sector,” the economist averred.
In his estimation, the government’s way of handling the Tier-Two Pension contributions of workers was a misplaced agenda describing the scenario as “uncalled for” and “unnecessary.”
He made these assertions on Ghana, Great and Strong, a non-partisan programme, broadcast every Saturday from 7:00 P.M., -8:00 P.M., on Ghana’s premier internet- based radio, www.hedjorleonlineradio.com.
The life of many Ghanaian workers after their retirement, he noted, had been very miserable due to how poorly their pension contributions were handled.
“Most workers have nothing to show when they go on retirement and thereby die as a result of misery and poverty,” he pointed out.
Against this backdrop he asserted that it was prudent for the labour unions to know how what their contributions are being used for and who the managers of the funds are.
“What was wrong for the workers to find out who the managers of their own funds are and what the monies are used for”? he quizzed.
According to him, workers in the formal sector should rather enjoy from their working lives after retirement and not go home and die miserably.
General Secretary of Coalition for Concerned Teachers, Raymond Boakye Danquah, who was also on the programme, agreed with the assertion adding that government should be open enough to let workers know how their contributions are being used.
He observed that such transparency and openness on the part of government would boost public confidence in the formal sector.
“It is important for government to be forthright in issues of such nature to win the public confidence else…,” he intimated.
He, therefore, urged government to allow private people to manage a certain percentage of the Tier-Two funds so as to inject sanity and fairness into the scheme.
While he wanted government to allow contributors of the fund to have a say in the management of the fund, he also counseled the workers to be very circumspect in their dealings with government.
He, however, bemoaned the posture of many workers in the formal sector and charged them to do more to also win government’s confidence and trust.
For his part, host of the programme, Dr. Papa Kwesi Nduom, who apparently was much involved in the promulgation of the new Pension Law during his time as the Minister of Economic Planning and Regional Integration in the erstwhile Kufuor administration, called on government to adhere to what the law says.
He underscored the importance of the new pension law saying it was meant to bring relief to Ghanaian workers after their retirement.
It would be recalled that 12 labour unions a month ago went on strike demanding that government allows them to manage their own Tier-Two Pension contributions.
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