It would be noticed that almost two years now, the government seems to have cared less about the standard of living of the Public Sector worker.
The Akuffo Addo-led Government seemed to have sought asylum in the arms of Covid 19 as a safe haven to take cover and cheat workers: teachers, nurses, the Police, doctors among others. The same cannot be said about other sister nations like Nigeria and others who are rather striving hard to ameliorate and better the lives of their workers.
The Government of Ghana, led by His Excellency Akuffo-Addo, mismanaged the economy through reckless and unsubstantiated borrowing over time to a tune of 341.8 billion GH Cedis (Debt to GDP 83.54%), the highest since Independence. One would have thought that such a prodigal and monumental borrowing would go a long way to trickle down and benefit the people especially the builders of the nation (the Public Sector worker). However, this has never been the case for more than five years of the rulership of this Akuffo-Addo-Bawumia-Ofori-Atta- led regime: the same people the NPP touted in the build-up to the 2016 General Election as the “men”. These very elements once spoke like Adams Smith and behaved like economic messiahs but have done nothing significant to show for it, only talk show.
What is beef? The worker’s pain seems to be endless under this NPP government. In 2021, the government announced only a 4% salary increment for all public sector workers. This, he reluctantly paid with some of them still in arrears to date. Noteworthily, that same year, 2021, fuel prices galloped 12times( more than 30% increment), inflation hopped forward by more than 30percent (stands at 12.6 as of December 2021), the Cedi has done shamefully well against all major currencies with the case of the American Dollar(supposed to have been locked by Bawumia and the key kept with the IGP) being the hardest. It is incontestable that these factors are the major determinants of the well being of any economy, so it is expected that once they are inching up calamitously due to any reason, a sensitive government would workout an equal measure of salary (which is also a major circulator of cash) to meet up with the increasing variables. Shockingly, this has not been done. To further worsen the plight of the worker, a lower percentage (7%) has been announced as the salary increment for the 2022 financial year.
It might interest one to note that Nigeria, with all the devastating Covid situations, increased the salary of their Police Service, and other sectors by 20% in the same year,2021, the Ghana Government was dehumanizing its workers with a 4% pay increase. Several other interventions by other neighboring countries could be mentioned as initiatives to support the worker. Moreover, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, just to mention but a few are verifiable references to make as far as the protection of the public sector worker against the ravages of Covid is concerned. To a surprising extent, even victims of job losses are supported with stipends in the US. On the flip side, the Government of Ghana seems to have rather exposed its workers to the evil of Covid for further destruction, to say the least.
The relevant questions are; what is the actual salary of a teacher at Kpeve in the Volta Region? Or that of a nurse in Bamboye? It could be calculated after all these militating economic factors that the real disposable income of the Ghanaian worker nowadays is far less than what appears on the payslip. Mathematically, if a Principal Superintendent in the GES took 2000cedis in 2021, by the kind of inflation figures, the actual take-home is far less than 2000cedis. No wonder the teacher attrition rate has broken loose. 44,000 teachers has been estimated to have vacated post(in 2021) obviously for greener pastures, the highest in more than 20years(EMIS Report 2021). Indeed, it is a sheer insensitivity on the part of a man who once upon a time boasted that he was a better manager and father of the masses, then, as Presidential Candidate Akuffo Addo. What has changed? Where is money he boasted in 2016 that Ghana was sitting on yet, hungry? Is this the beautiful life you promised the Ghanaian worker, Mr. President?
The conviction of the masses is that the NPP-led Government has been extravagant since its inception in 2017. The Auditor-General unraveled in his audit report that the Government blew away a whopping 12billion GH Cedis in 2021 alone as malfeasance, misappropriation, and blatant wastage. The obvious question one may slap on the face of government is, “Is that the prudent spending the President pledged on the day of his inauguration in 2017, with the infamous mantra that he would protect the public purse?” Nobody can easily take any excuse from a wasteful government such as the Akuffo Addo-leads.
Simply, the Ghanaian worker cannot cope with a dehumanizing 7% as salary increment, Mr. President. How do they survive against all the hikes from fuel to rent, to utilities, to fees, to fares, and now the big one, E-levy? Kindly remember your words before taking overpower, and revise this decision if you are still the father you made the Public Sector worker believe in the run-up to the 2016 Elections.