The Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) have shown their support for the 24-hour economy policy proposed by the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Dramani.
The two groups believe that if the policy is effectively implemented, it can lead to rapid industrialisation and job creation.
The President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, and the General Secretary of NUGS, Ismail Tuohesung Issahaque, respectively expressed their support during a panel discussion with Professor Festus Ebo Turkson and Prof. Lord Mensah from the University of Ghana at a forum held by UPSILON PI DELTA Institute in Accra on Tuesday last week.
The forum’s theme was: “Unlocking economic prosperity through a 24-hour economy”.
The panel discussion delved into the details of the 24-hour economy policy proposed by former President Mahama, with a focus on its viability and potential impact on the Ghanaian economy.
Also, the forum served as a platform for stakeholders to exchange ideas and perspectives on how the 24-hour economy could unlock economic prosperity in Ghana.
Dr Obeng emphasised the importance of strong leadership and government’s commitment to make the policy a reality.
He also highlighted the need for collaboration between the public and private sectors to ensure the successful implementation of the 24-hour economy.
The GUTA President, however, cautioned Ghanaians, especially the youth, to reorient their minds and prepare themselves morally for the job market to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that would be presented by the policy.
“We need to let education drive this policy because the Ghanaian youth have a moral problem when it comes to work and their attitudes towards work must change or else we will implement this policy, and it will be only beneficial to foreigners because people will rather bring in workers from Togo and elsewhere because they can trust them to commit to the job,” Dr Obeng emphasised.
For Mr Issahaque, the 24-hour economy policy could be particularly beneficial to Ghanaian students by providing them with increased opportunities for part-time and flexible work schedules.
He said with businesses operating around the clock, students could find more options for employment that fit their academic schedules, allowing them to earn income while pursuing their education.
Prof. Turkson and Prof. Mensah provided valuable insights into the potential challenges and opportunities associated with transitioning to a 24-hour economy.
They discussed the need for infrastructure development, investment in technology, security and the creation of supportive policies to facilitate the smooth operation of businesses around the clock.
Prof. Mensah said it was worth embracing innovative economic policies to propel Ghana towards sustainable development and prosperity.
“A 24-hour economy is viable, and the time to implement it is now.
It’s the right time to kick-start this policy, and the entire economy should be driven by it,” Prof. Mensah said.
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The NDC has described the 24-hour economy policy as a deliberate policy intervention by the next NDC/Mahama government, that would encourage and support certain businesses and companies to operate 24/7, preferably in a three-shift system of eight hours each, by creating an enabling environment that promotes productivity, competitiveness and well-paying jobs.
The policy, the party said, was mainly anchored on Mr Mahama’s overarching vision to create sustainable jobs for Ghanaians.
This would happen if former President Mahamas plan is followed. He wants to make farming easier and more efficient, encourage businesses to grow, encourage agro-processing and manufacturing, and make Ghana more dependent on imports instead of exports.