‘… Truly, Government for the People!’

In a rare expression of compassion, the
government of Ghana says it has introduced a 15 percent cost of living allowance (COLA) to help residents cope with the country’s harsh economy.

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information, Ghana, disclosed this in a tweet on Friday.

Nkrumah said the decision was reached after consultations with the country’s organized labour and other stakeholders.

According to him, the allowance took effect on July 1 — the same day Ghana sought the support of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its economic crisis.

“Government and organized Labour have concluded negotiations for Cost of Living Allowance. A 15 percent allowance has been agreed effective July 1. Government is keen on mitigating the impact of global challenges on the people of Ghana,” he said in a tweet.

According to a document, the government agreed that COLA would be paid at a rate of 15 percent of the base pay of public workers after negotiations between the government and organised labour concluded on Thursday evening.

Ghana is one of the low-income nations currently being battered by the effects of Covid-19 and the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Last month, Ghanaians thronged the streets of Accra in protests against skyrocketing energy costs and the newly imposed e-levy, which mandates them to pay a 1.5 percent tax for every electronic transaction they carry out.

Last week, President Nana Akufo-Addo asked Ken Ofori-Atta, finance minister, to commence formal engagements with IMF to secure support to address economic woes in the country.

“The engagement with the IMF will seek to provide a balance of payment support as part of a broader effort to quicken Ghana’s build back in the face of challenges induced by the Covid-19 pandemics.

Reacting to this development in Ghana, a civil rights activist who chose to be anonymous, said: “Human beings live in Ghana as leaders. But we have insensitive and impassive leaders strutting all over Nigeria, impoverishing us daily.

“These leaders loot our treasury, just to give everlasting riches to their families and generations unborn.”

“The Ghanaians had earlier protested; they were not shot at or arrested and their organized labour union completed the negotiation.

“The Nigerian government should borrow a leaf from this.

“They should negotiate with Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and honour the agreements reached.”

Concluding, he said: “As humans, we should be always be humane to one another.”

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