President John Dramani Mahama has stated that he is not a wicked person and thus entreated Ghanaians to be patient with his government as it puts in place the necessary infrastructural development for accelerated growth.
President Mahama said his government was on track in terms of economic growth although things look chaotic now, adding that the hard decisions are being taken in the interest of Ghanaians as well as to stabilize and grow the economy.
Speaking on Uniiq FM yesterday morning to mark the International Youth Day, the President indicated that government is investing heavily in infrastructure and drawing a picture for Ghana that will be nice at the end for all to appreciate.
By 2016, things would begin to take shape and by 2020, a very beautiful picture of the country would emerge, President Mahama noted.
The President, responding to a question on the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) strike, described it as illegal and did not make sense since they want their demands to be captured in the 2016 budget.
He further urged the doctors to call off the strike because “we’re paying doctors their salaries and allowances as negotiated on single spine,” adding that doctors should think about the welfare of Ghanaians.
According to him, whatever would be agreed on during the negotiations would be paid the doctors, but lives lost during the strike action could never be brought back.
The President also backed the decision of Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, who stated that all striking public sector workers must forfeit their remuneration during that period.
“The labour law states that nobody must negotiate under duress. Even before negotiations began they declared a strike. Nobody must die as a result of an illegal strike. The doctors’ strike is illegal… The doctors must go back to work while negotiations continue in good faith,” he added.
A statement from the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations reminded the doctors and all other striking public sector workers that under the provisions of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651), a worker on strike, “may forfeit his/her remuneration in respect of the period during which he/she is engaged in the illegal strike.”
President Mahama, on the economy stated that there are times when the economy is strong and others when it goes down.
According to him, the country is a commodity dependent economy; hence any effect on commodity affects the economy.
Government, he said was maintaining fiscal discipline and would not over spend, adding that they have reduced borrowing from the Central Bank from 10% to 5% to ensure fiscal stabilization.
The President noted that government would add 1,500MW of thermal power by the end of next year and “hydropower will now become a backup power, thermal will be the main source.”
He also emphasized that the days of cheap hydropower are over, and government is putting in more than 1,000MW emergency power and that total supply will be 1,500MW.
He said “we need to put in more prepaid meters; people must stop stealing power because that makes power expensive.”
President Mahama also noted that the Power Minister, Dr. Kwabena Donkor, is aware he would be fired if he fails to end the power crisis by the close of this year.
“I always remind my Power Minister that his head is on the block because he openly declared he would solve the power crisis,” he said.
The President denied the notion that there was a freeze on public employment as a result of Ghana’s involvement in the International Monetary Fund’s programme.
He said open license for government agencies to employ is what has been taken away and explained that government agencies now need to apply for permission to employ in areas where strategically government believes that employment must take place.
“We are still employing in strategic areas where we think we need manpower. In the areas where we don’t need, yes we are not employing, so that is the main reason. We are still employing doctors, we are still employing teachers and nurses and so if they say there was a freeze on employment it is not true,” President Mahama said.
He added that about 73% of taxes was used to pay salaries of about 600,000 people in the public sector and that from 2013; government has reduced the use of taxes to pay revenues from 73% to 49% of tax revenue.
Source: Daily Heritage
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|