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Change bad attitudes that derail development - NPRA boss charges Ghanaians

BY: Donald Ato Dapatem
Mr Krufi (right) and Mr Amarquaye exhibiting the punctuality pledge after they had both signed
Mr Krufi (right) and Mr Amarquaye exhibiting the punctuality pledge after they had both signed

The Chief Executive of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), Mr Hayford Atta Krufi, says the widespread lateness and truancy among Ghanaians, especially public and civil servants, is a cancerous corruption that is thwarting the nation’s efforts to attain development.

He said people who did not report for work, meetings and programmes on time and who did not work productively to commensurate the salaries they earned, were engaging in corrupt practices and called for a change of attitude towards time to save the country huge sums of revenue.

Mr Krufi made the observation when he endorsed a punctuality campaign being rolled out by the Punctuality Ghana Foundation in Accra yesterday.

The campaign seeks to change public attitudes to time and productivity and ensure that policy makers and implementers provide the required rules, regulations, facilities and infrastructure for people to become punctual and productive.

Mr Krufi said it was unacceptable for people to believe that attending meetings and reporting for work and other engagements late was usual and called on Ghanaians to endorse the campaign by the foundation to change their attitude and become productive.

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He said punctuality and productivity should become second natures, so that those who were truant, unproductive and late to work would be seen as the nation wreckers that they were, adding that there were systems at receptions and offices to monitor the punctuality and effectiveness of staff.

Work

Mr Krufi said at the NPRA offices, the systems and measures ensured that staff and management members came to work on time and delivered on their work as expected.

He said although the NPRA was a public sector organisation, he had charged the staff to put on the attitude of staff in the private sector.

Foundation

The Lead Crusader of the Punctuality Campaign, Mr Emmanuel Amarquaye, said Ghana’s quest for revenue to address its development needs could easily be mobilised internally, if Ghanaians turned on a new leaf and worked assiduously, effectively and efficiently.

He cited the example of people who wanted to file their tax returns, but had to spend two hours for a GH¢2.50 form, while a search at the Lands Commission took 42 days, with those able to pay GH¢1,000 through the back door got their documents on time.

He said the lack of punctuality and ineffectiveness in the public sector had also created a huge avenue for people to also extort money, leading to the loss of revenue to the state which is also scaring investors away.

“If we can tie punctuality to productivity, then we can find a way of closing the gap in the internally generated funds,” Mr Amarquaye added.

He said people drove through several traffic lights and gridlocks from their homes to work and by the time they got to the offices, they would have been late and tired.

He, therefore, suggested productive and flexible hours so that some people could take advantage of that due to the nature of their work.

Mr Amarquaye said some public and civil servants also left the offices before closing time or before 5p.m., because they wanted to beat the evening rush hour traffic jam and called on the management of the city to plan better in ensuring that people did not waste time, paying tolls at tollbooths and getting stuck in traffic because of the bad nature of the roads.