13 February 2013

Ghana: Labour Complex in the Offing

The Minister-designate for Employment and Labour Relations, Nii Armah Ashietey yesterday gave an indication to establish a Labour Complex office that will supply the government with all the data it needs on employment issues to enable it make informed decisions.

The complex, he noted, will work hand-in-hand with the Ghana Statistical Service and come out with a data that will give accurate information about the unemployment rate in the country.

Mr. Ashietey made this observation yesterday when he took his turn at the Appointments Committee of Parliament to answer questions relating to his newly assigned role by President John Dramani Mahama.

Notwithstanding the establishment of a Labour Complex, the nominee also promised to provide a labour market information system to help identify problems and other related issues in the labour market at all times."

"This will help inform the decision we make concerning the labour market in terms of government policies," he noted. He also gave the assurance to fashion out a system that will be able to measure the productivity level of all workers in the country.

Prior to that, Mr. Ashietey promised to ensure that the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission determine salaries based on productivity, noting - "pay should be linked with productivity. "This will help you measure performance if it has really been attained or not," he argued.

Also appearing at the Appointments Committee for public scrutiny was the Minister-designate for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development, Nayon Bilijo. He told the committee that he would work very hard to bridge the gap between fish production and consumption.

According to the nominee, the existing condition in the fisheries sector is nothing to write home about, since it has led to consumption far exceeding production. He said globally, fish consumption is pegged at 13kilos compared to 25kilos of local consumption.

With the above data, Mr. Bilijo said there is a production deficit of 460,000 tones of fish per annum, and if measures are not taken to address it, the situation will further deteriorate.

According to Mr. Bilijo, the only way to bridge the gap between what the country produces and what it consumes is to establish a ministry of Acquaculture. He said here is the need to introduce good management practices into the fisheries sector to help realize its full potentials.

He said when given the nod as the sector minister, he will vigorously support the review of the Act establishing the Fisheries Commission to give it the needed capacity to duly develop the fisheries sector.

He said if the situation remained unchanged under the Ministry of Agriculture, the sector will not realize its full potentials. Another measure he noted is the introduction of alternative livelihood for the fisher folks to supplement their catch.

"Fisheries resources are either at full exploitation or over exploited. Fish catches continue to reduce. There is the need to introduce alternative livelihood to supplement their fish catch. There is tbe need to ensure fish sustainability," he averred.

In another development, the minister designate for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mrs. Elizabeth Ofuso-Agyare was saved because she was recently delivered of twins, as she spent less than an hour when she appeared before the Appointment Committee yesterday.

This was made possible when the Chairman of the Appointment Committee, Hon. Barton Odro pleaded with members of the committee to ask one question each so as not to over stress the nursing mother.

Mrs. Elizabeth Ofuso Agyare, who delivered a set of twins last week, stated that the outlook of tourism in Ghana is very bright as she said Ghana has the three main reasons that tourists look out for, before patronizing a tourist sites.

The three reasons she gave are political stability, beautiful tourist sites, both natural and artificial and rich culture. Touching on the challenges of tourism, she added that "much work has to be done to ensure we have clean tourist sites, which can be achieved if we change our mode of cleaning and service delivering", she noted.

Answering a question on protecting intellectual property in the Art industry and discovering tourist sites, she said "I will work with stakeholders to ensure education on copyright enforcement is vigorously done. With discovering tourist sites, the District Assemblies have been empowered to locate tourist sites in their various areas.

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