By Frank Amponsah
The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has charged the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations to liaise with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to bring an end to all outstanding pension issues in the next three (3) months.
He gave the order when he addressed the 2019 May Day Celebration yesterday day, 1st May, 2019, at the Black Star Square.
According to the President Akufo-Addo the critical contribution of labour to the production process, economic growth and sustained development requires that the dignity of labour is maintained throughout retirement.
He said: “We will build a robust economy and a prosperous society, when we put in place a sustainable pension scheme for all workers. For far too many of our people, the end of their lives is marked by poverty. Too many people either have no pensions at all or have inadequate pensions to match the needs of old age.”
He also averred that the informal sectors of the economy, is suffering as “most people work without any thought to pension coverage, and when they no longer have the strength to work, their lives become miserable.”
With about 90% of workers operating in the informal sector, the President indicated that attention must be focused on extending access to that sector in compliance with the National Pension law.
“At the moment, Government efforts are on course to establish a Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme. This trend would be extended to other worker groups in the informal economy,” he noted .
President Akufo-Addo said, government is working to reduce unemployment in the country, so as to widen the pension base, stressing that the NPP government is working on an economic transformation agenda through the various job creation initiatives such “Planting for Food and Jobs”, “One-District-One-Factory”, “Industrial Stimulus Package”, “Planting for Export and Rural Development”, private sector support schemes, which are all beginning to bear fruit, and “should soon start reducing unemployment and provide opportunities for citizens to work, earn higher incomes and contribute to their pensions.”
He mentioned the importance of Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) sector in equipping young people for the world of work, and said that significant progress has been made in that regards.
“We have funding for 21 State of the Arts TVET centres. Parliamentary approval has been given for all 34 NVTI centres to be upgraded, retooled and curricula improved and teachers trained,” he said.