President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has announced that the recent challenges in electricity supply, known as “dumsor,” have been effectively resolved.

Speaking during the annual May Day celebration in Accra  yesterday, the President expressed optimism that the erratic power supply issues were now a thing of the past, thanks to successful resolutions of problems related to transformers and gas supply.

“I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Ghanaians for their patience and understanding during the recent temporary challenges with electricity supply across the country,” the President stated.

He noted that over the period, the issues surrounding transformers and gas supply had been successfully resolved, resulting in sufficient improvement in power supply reliability.

President Akufo-Addo highlighted the efforts made over the past seven years to ensure a reliable power supply, stressing that the era of “dumsor” was behind the nation and would not return.

“Indeed, over the past few days, we have witnessed stable electricity supply across the country with no load-shedding reported anywhere yesterday. For the past seven years,  we have worked tirelessly to keep the lights on, and I am confident that the unfortunate era of dumsor will not return,” he added.

President Akufo-Addo reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring the enactment of a new Labour Act that is comprehensive, contemporary, and protects the interests of all actors in the world of work.

He noted that, based on the commitment of the Ghanaian workforce towards national development, the least he could do in his last term of office was to honour them,  and to facilitate the enactment of the new Labour Act that had been the utmost desire of the unions.

He said labour issues are some of the most topical and important issues in almost every country, such as the standard of living of the populace, businesses, as well as individual and family welfare.

He said it was for this reason that he remained committed towards the enactment of the new labour law, which had been largely carried out. He assured that, with the cooperation of Parliament, the new Labour Act could be promulgated by the close of 2024.

He added that the government was providing adequate infrastructure for Labour administration institutions to enable them to deliver effectively on their mandates. He cited the procurement of 60 motorbikes and 17 pickup vehicles aimed at enhancing the mobility of the labour officers.

He indicated that 16 new public employment centres were being constructed, saying 40 others would be renovated across all 16 regions to give enhanced visibility to encourage patronage of the labour department’s activities. He said these measures were all geared towards fostering peace among the labour unions and maintaining a stable labour environment.

On the 2024 election, President Akufo-Addo urged state institutions to discharge their duties efficiently to promote peace. He said workers and social partners must hold state actors accountable for their mandates. He said even though disputes and disagreements were bound to arise in the course of work, agencies responsible for addressing such issues must discharge their duties effectively to maintain peace.

The President further noted that industrial peace remained one of his priorities, which had necessitated a proposal for fundamental changes to the structure and architecture of the National Labour Commission under the new labour bill being prepared.

He said these fundamental changes were in tandem with the government’s policies of ensuring that the backlog of cases became a thing of the past.

“Between 2017 and 2023, a total of 4,207 cases were recorded at the National Labour Commission. The Commission settled a total of 2,678 cases, representing 64% of them, leaving 36% of the cases unresolved.

“Government, in its quest for peace and security, will continue to roll out various policy measures in labour administration for the transformation of the world of work. It is our collective interest to promote peace, security and stability ahead of the 2024 general election. Ghana is the only country we have, and we must do everything in our power to defend our nation and its Constitution,” he indicated.

The President reiterated the impact of COVID-19 and the Russian-Ukraine war on the Ghanaian economy. Despite these challenges, he said, the government had done all it could to turn things around and lay down the foundation for a stable macroeconomic environment for Ghanaians and businesses.

President Akufo-Addo acknowledged the IMF for signs of macroeconomic stability and economic recovery.

“Government has never been of the view that the IMF bailout package will be a sufficient solution to our economic circumstances but rather an important step to our economic recovery,” he said.

On the lump sum top-up for 2021 retirees under Act 766, President Akufo-Addo emphasised that the Controller and Accountant General’s Department had released an amount of GHC55.4 million to facilitate the payment of the outstanding lump sum top-ups to 5,819 beneficiaries, starting from 2020.

He added that the government had paid GHC99.7 million for nine months, covering July 2023 to March 2024, out of the Tier 2 outstanding contributions of GHS 993.9 million.

The President said the government had agreed with the Organized Labour for a payment plan to pay the balance in three equal charges by August 2024 through a combination of cash payments and government payments.

He also noted that the government had been able to clear outstanding principal arrears of Tier One SSNIT contributions of 2.46 billion cedis owed by the government, covering 2010 to 2021, through securitization in April 2024.

The President called for a concerted effort from all stakeholders to shape Ghana’s journey in marching forward.