Sunyani, Ghana (PANA) - As the world marks Workers' Day Tuesday, Ghanaian workers have pointedly told the government that the country's economic growth has not led to more jobs for the people.
Speaking at the annual May Day parade at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region, Secretary-General of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) Kofi Asamoah lauded the government for the “unprecedented growth” witnessed in the country’s economy in the past three years, but said it had failed to create decent jobs.
He noted that Ghana had seen the highest level of economic growth – longest period of micro-economic stability, highest level of international reserve among others - under the leadership of President Mills.
While describing the growth as “significant achievements”, the labour leader said, however, that that it had not “put money in peoples' pockets.”
“Your Excellency, the reality is the unprecedented growth rate…has failed to create decent jobs for Ghanaians. Joblessness is on the rise," he said.
The TUC Scribe said policy makers over the years had failed to address the monumental challenges that confronted domestic industries, compelling many of the country's manufacturing firms to convert their factories to warehouses as they join the lucrative import trade.
Responding, President John Evans Atta Mills assured workers that his government was committed to expanding the economy by putting more Ghanaians to work.
He said a substantial part of the US$3 billion loan the government had secured from China would be used to boost job creation.
“If you look at our manifesto, the creation of jobs is one of the four pillars supporting our ‘Better Ghana Agenda”. We also recognise that the private sector is the engine of growth. I will be quick to admit that we have some challenges but one should also acknowledge what other methods or contributions we have made,” President Mills said.
He said his government was also creating the environment which would enable the private sector to create jobs.
President Mills also referred to the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections and reiterated his commitment to ensuring free and fair polls.
“I want to assure you of my determination and with the help of the almighty God, to ensure that our elections are free, fair and transparent. The law will be no respecter of status, it will deal with everybody alike and we will make sure that those who decide to break the law are indeed made to face the full rigors of the law,” President Mills said.
The theme of this year's celebration in Ghana is: “Election 2012: The Role of Workers in Ensuring Peaceful and Fair Elections.”
-0- PANA MA/SEG 1May2012