Strike to knock down economy further – Economist

Ghana’s economy is set to take another bad hit when the strike by labour takes full effect, economist, Dr. Godfred Bokpin has warned.

“We don’t need faith to believe in the fact that the on-going strike will negatively impact the economy, it is real,” he said.

About twelve (12) labour unions on Wednesday began a strike to demand the payment of their tier two pension contributions into a privately managed account.

Policy think tank IMANI Ghana had said that the strike was inevitable although government has described it as “unnecessary and unlawful.”

Dr Bokpin who was speaking on the Eye Witness News said the economy is already saddled with a number of challenges adding that “if some workers are not working, even though they will be paid, then certainly we expect that the economy will suffer at the end of the day.”

He said “at the end of the day, it is the individual output, corporate entities and everything put together” that adds up to become the gross domestic product (GDP).

Dr. Bokpin who is also the Head of the Finance Department at the University of Ghana Business School, is concerned that government doesn’t seem to appreciate the full impact of the strike on the economy.

“It’s like either we have not fully appreciated the full impact of that on the economy and for which reason we are taking it for granted or it is about time we begin to look at it from the perspective of the managers.”

Meanwhile, a former Chief Executive Officer of the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA), Dr Daniel Sedor, on the same programme said government should not be blamed for the strike.

He said “I don’t see the role of government in this because we are talking about tier two and tier two means money going to a particular scheme.”

He explained that there are laid down procedures for the payment of the tier two pensions adding that if all the processes are observed “and the agitating workers can establish that the payment has been made then the appropriate quarters to go is the NPRA,” and not the government.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected back in the country in November for the third round of talks with government to find an appropriate programme to rescue Ghana’s economy.

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