President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said there remains a lot to be done to improve upon the quality of our lives as Ghanaians.
The president said the move to improve our lives is in three stages: the period of preparation towards work, the period during which we work, and the period during which we take a deserved rest from work.
According to the president, “the lopsided nature of things in our country is demonstrated by the statistic quoted eloquently in the speech by the General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, that is the workforce in our country is estimated at about 13 million, and those in formal work number about 1.2 million.
The government of Ghana employs about 600,000 of this number, and more than 80% of all government revenue is spent on the remuneration and conditions of service of those of us in this group. Very few of us among the 600,000 on the government payroll are satisfied with our circumstances, and I am sure we have all heard some of the main sources of unhappiness among the litany of complaints read out by the representative of organized labour.”
The President said he has been truthful to Ghanaians over the situation we are in since he took over power
“In the 28 months that it has been my honour and privilege to be president of our country, I have been as candid as possible with the people of Ghana, even if sometimes, the truth has been unpleasant. Let me try and bring out a few well-known facts of our condition.”
He said “I believe there is some consensus on what we all want for ourselves and for our country; we want a healthy, educated and skilled population, we want well-paid and satisfying jobs, and we want a well-developed network of infrastructure in the country. In 62 years, we have not managed our affairs to enable us have the money to deal with the serious deficit in our infrastructure development without borrowing money. I suspect that, even if we spent 100% of all government revenue on remunerations for the 600,000 or so people on the public payroll, there would still be dissatisfaction with conditions from some people.”
He underscored the need for Ghanaians to think of ways the country could create an enabling environment for more jobs to be created instead of thinking of how we improve conditions of the working few.
“I believe it is time we face reality and start asking ourselves some of the difficult questions. Development remains our collective responsibility and aspiration. Should we continue to pay greater attention on improving the conditions of the few who are in jobs, or should we concentrate on creating the atmosphere for more jobs to be generated? For years, we all said many public officials were pushed into corrupt practices because they were so badly paid. Salaries and conditions of service have been improved for many, and we have not seen the equivalent improvement in the quality of the work they do.”