President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Wednesday outdoored the Charter on Ghana Beyond Aid, government’s strategic agenda to harness and prudently manage the country’s resources to finance her development without foreign assistance.
“Ghana Beyond Aid is setting our nation on an irreversible pathway of development. With the blessing of the Almighty and our collective effort, we will march boldly from poverty to prosperity so that we can create the Ghana our forefathers envisaged,” he said.
The President said this when he addressed this year’s May Day Parade of unionised workers at the Independence Square in Accra.
The Ghana Beyond Aid Charter, developed by a committee chaired by the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, gives the roadmap to achieving that vision.
The document details how Ghana can build a prosperous and self-reliant nation to be in control of her economic destiny and favourably and competitively engage the rest of the world through trade and investment.
President Akufo-Addo, at last year’s May Day celebration in Kumasi, promised that he would set up a committee to develop the Charter.
Then in June 2018, he put together the committee with representation from the Ministries of Finance, Employment and Labour Relations, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Local Government and Rural Development, and Information.
Other associations including the Trades Union Congress, Ghana National Association of Teachers, Association of Ghana Industries, Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industries, National Union of Ghana Students, and Private Enterprises Federation were also represented on the committee.
The Committee concluded its work and presented the Charter last February to the President at the Jubilee House.
“On behalf of the people of Ghana I wish to thank the Ghana Beyond Aid Committee for the good work done,” the President said.
This year’s May Day was marked under the theme: “Sustainable Pension for all: The Role of Social Partners.”
President Akufo-Addo, who commended the Ghanaian worker, both in the formal and informal sectors for their enduring work and significant contribution towards the country’s development, also rallied them to stay faithful to the Ghanaian enterprise despite the current economic challenges.
He said though development remained the common and collective responsibility and aspiration of all Ghanaians, it was time that the country faced the reality and “ask ourselves the difficult questions.”
“Questions such as; 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? Must be asked,” the President said.
“I also want to reiterate that the fact that we are all in it together, whether it is in management or government or on the shop floor, the project of our existence succeeds if we work together and pull together.”
“Our nation Ghana, at 62, remains very much a work in progress. A lot of things remain to be done to improve upon the quality of our lives in all three stages – the period of preparation to work, the period during which we work, and the period during which we take a deserved rest from work,” he said.
The President was emphatic that government was working hard on its agenda for economic transformation to provide opportunity for citizens to work, earn higher incomes and contribute better to their pensions.
Acknowledging that there were unresolved issues in the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), he said government was on course to resolving all outstanding pension issues.
President Akufo-Addo disclosed that he had asked the Labour and Employment Minister to liaise with NPRA to bring finality to all outstanding issues on pensions in the next three months.
He further revealed that the Finance Ministry had arranged for payment of GH¢200 million and a bond of GH¢700 million towards the payment of arrears owed SSNIT.
The President urged pension fund managers and trustees to do more to retain the trust of workers, saying; “In as much the same way we should build trust between workers and the new private pension companies, it is equally important that there is trust between the workers and the state established SSNIT.”
Government was also making efforts to rope in more people from the informal sector onto the pension scheme, and was on course to establishing the cocoa farmers’ pension scheme, which would be extended to worker groups in the informal sector, he said.