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Public sector pension issues to be resolved February — Akufo-Addo

BY: Timothy Gobah

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the auditing of the Temporary Pensions Fund Account (TPFA) of public sector workers will be completed by February 2019.   

“The relevant institutions have been tasked to complete this exercise to enable the smooth implementation of the second tier pension scheme (the occupational pension scheme) in the public services,” he stated. 

President Akufo-Addo said funds transferred into public sector occupational pension schemes, facilitated by the Minister of Finance and the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, with the active involvement of the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA), were a little over GH¢3 billion and had paved the way for the real implementation of the third tier pension schemes of public sector workers.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Chief of Staff, Mrs Akosua Frema Osei Opare, at the 13th Quadrennial National Delegates Congress of the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) in Cape Coast last Friday (January 4, 2018), the President said the government was committed to meeting the needs of CLOGSAG.

He added that most of the critical issues facing CLOGSAG had been resolved with regard to the payment of interim premium to workers within the Civil and the Local Government services.

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The congress, which had in attendance delegates from across the country, was on the theme: “Neutrality within the Civil and Local Government services has ramifications for the Civil and Local Government services”.  

Institutional reforms

President Akufo-Addo said the government, through a new Public Sector Reform Strategy, intended to build a government machinery that worked.

It was premised on various institutional reforms, as well as the strengthening of the capacity of public sector institutions to deliver public goods and services efficiently, he said.  

The President added that other specific strategies to be implemented included re-aligning institutions to address conflicting mandates and improve coordination, modernising public service institutions for efficiency and productivity, improving leadership capability and delivery in the public service and improving accountability in the public service by introducing a Citizen’s Charter.

Neutrality

President Akufo-Addo urged civil servants and staff of the Local Government Service to refrain from engaging in partisan politics, saying: “Don’t cloak yourselves with political attire in the dispatch of your duties.”

He said being intermediaries between the government and the wider public, Local Government Service workers would have to show, at all levels, that they were professional in what they did and thereby create a more favourable image for the service. 

Otherwise “you offend the sensibilities of the public and place yourself in a bias position which is distasteful and offensive to any well-meaning government,” he stated.

The President commended CLOGSAG for pursuing a just cause by seeking the interpretation of clauses in the 1992 Constitution on the participation and involvement of its members in partisan politics and district assembly elections.

“Let us continue to use legitimate means to address issues in order to promote sanity in the industrial atmosphere in our country,” President Akufo-Addo stated.

Sensitisation

The Chairperson of the Civil Service Council, Justice Rose Constance Owusu, congratulated CLOGSAG members on initiating the Neutrality Project to sensitise its members to desist from party political activities.

Justice Owusu, a retired Supreme Court judge, urged the CLOGSAG leadership to intensify the sensitisation drive and educate all its members, wherever they found themselves.  

She further admonished political heads to work with the civil service staff, saying: “Some political heads refuse to work with some civil service staff because of the perceived alignment of the officers to previous administrations.

“This tends to stifle the initiative of highly knowledgeable and competent officers capable of providing professional advice to leadership but this does not augur well for the progression of the service.” 

The Head of the Civil Service, Nana Agyekum Dwamena, said the service would continue to perform its role of supporting the government to deliver on its mandate by ensuring the proper management of staff and other resources.