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The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has described President John Mahama as insensitive and unsympathetic following his statement that smart businesses are not laying off workers in spite of the power crisis.
Speaking at the May Day parade in Accra, President Mahama said the economy was still creating jobs, despite the challenges it is going through.
Amid reports that some companies had laid off workers due to the power crisis, the President said smart businesses were not laying off workers, but were rather investing to improve their production capacities.
This, he said, was because those companies had faith in the ability of the government to end the power crisis and improve the country’s electricity generation capacity.
He made reference to Accra Brewery Limited (ABL), which recently procured a new production plant worth $100 million to double the company’s production capacity. He acknowledged, however, that the power crisis was adversely affecting businesses in the country.
But the largest opposition party in Ghana said the president’s comment was below the belt and he should refrain from “pointing fingers at hard pressed Ghanaian businesses.”
“The NPP urges President Mahama to be alive to his responsibilities and repeated assurances to end dumsor, stabilize the cedi, reduce interest rates and stabilize the macro-economic environment. He should refrain from pointing fingers at hard pressed Ghanaian businesses and companies at this very trying period,” the statement signed by NPP Communications Director Nana Akomea said.
Below is the full statement:
President Mahama last Friday, May 1st 2015, said that “smart” businesses were not laying off workers, but were rather investing to improve production capacity.
He further stated that those companies were investing because they had faith in the ability of the government to end the power crisis and improve the country’s electricity generation capacity. The President was simply saying that, Ghanaian businesses which were downsizing and laying off workers in these trying times of ‘dumsor’ were simply not been smart, and had no faith in the government!
The NPP regrets that these sentiments of the President betray a deep lack of sensitivity and sympathy for Ghanaian businesses and companies in these trying times.
It also betrays a deep misunderstanding and lack of appreciation on the President’s part for the terrible difficulties Ghanaians businesses face from the twin evils of dumsor, and rapid cedi depreciation and unstable macro- economy.
Dumsor has been in effect a full three years (since June 2012) during which period the cedi has seen the worst depreciation (since 2001), becoming by mid-2014, the worst depreciated currency in Africa and the world, according to international commentators.
Under these difficult conditions, it is a near miracle that businesses in Ghana have survived at all. The plight of Ghanaians engaged in small scale artisanal businesses such as hairdressers, tailors, seamstresses, vulcanizers, auto sprayers, barbers, corn mill operators, cold store operators, is terrible.
Even bigger companies and businesses, many of them multinationals, have come under enormous stress.
These reputable companies and businesses, including Coca cola ltd, Newmont ltd, Tullow ltd, Blue Skies ltd, etc, have had to lay off or planning to lay off thousands of Ghanaian casual and permanent workers, all in an effort to survive in this climate of dumsor.
The least these companies expect is for the President to live up to his own several assurances on ending dumsor and stabilizing the cedi.
It is cruel , insensitive treatment of Ghanaian companies for their own President to run them down and deride them by intimating that these companies and businesses are not “smart” and do not believe in the government’s ability to end ‘dumsor’.
The President, right from 2012 up to May Day 2015, has described ‘dumsor’ as a “temporary” situation. A “temporary” situation that has persisted continuously for three (3) years.
The NPP urges President Mahama to be alive to his responsibilities and repeated assurances to end dumsor, stabilize the cedi, reduce interest rates and stabilize the macro-economic environment. He should refrain from pointing fingers at hard pressed Ghanaian businesses and companies at this very trying period.
We urge the President to ask himself if he has been smart in resolving ‘dumsor’, resolving the cedi’s rapid depreciation over the last 3years, resolving high interest rate and resolving the unstable macro-economic environment.
…signed… Nana Akomea (Director of Communications)
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