Ghanaian workers have no respect for working hours and engage in unproductive acts, the country’s President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said on Monday when he addressed hundreds of workers in commemoration of Workers Day in Accra.
Although he admitted pay levels of Ghanaian workers were not “satisfactory”, he observed the productivity levels and work attitude of the Ghanaian worker are “unsatisfactory” in all levels of the economy.
“We arrive at work late and then spend the first hour in prayer. We are clock watchers and leave in the middle of critical work because it is the official closing time. Everything comes to a stop when it rains and we seem to expect the rest of the world to also stop.
“We have no respect for the hours set aside for work; we pray, we eat, we visit during working hours. We spend hours chatting on the telephone when customers are waiting to be served thereby increasing our labour cost. We take a week off for every funeral and then we wonder why we are not competitive,” the President stated.
Nana Akufo-Addo indicated that improving pay levels without improvement in productivity to commensurate would result in micro economic instability for the country, noting “It means the size of the formal sector [will] shrink even further”.
Of Ghana’s 13 million-workforce, less than 2 million people are engaged in formal work.
The President said while the government has a lot of work to do to improve the economy, it is import that the workforce accepts its responsibility and contribute its part by first changing work attitude.
“…We have to start with the change in attitude to work. Government is ready to do its part and I’m counting on you, Secretary General [TUC] to lead the campaign for change and attitude to work and increase in productivity,” President Akufo-Addo said.
He said his government would work at employing more people into the formal sector, saying “ it is time for us all to bring more of our people into the formal sector. It will indeed be in everybody’s interest to do so”.
To do that, he said, it is important to first get the economy out of the doldrums and create the atmosphere for entrepreneurs to create jobs, indicating that under his government most of the jobs would be created by the private sector.
“There are things the government must do and there are things the citizens as a whole and organised labour in particular must do,” he said, noting the government has reduced taxes, interest rate down, and ensured relative stability of exchange rate.
By Stephen Kwabena Effah|3news.com|Ghana