Chamber of commerce angry with Mahama over dumsor comments

The Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry has described President John Mahama’s latest comments on the power crisis as unfortunate.

The Chamber believes the president could have been more measured in his statements about the power challenges.

At the worker’s day celebration yesterday, President Mahama said the crippling power crisis which has seen electricity consumers enjoy power for 12 hours and endure power cuts for the next 24 hours, is a temporary challenge.

He said smart businesses recognize this fact and are therefore “not laying off workers,” but “are rather investing more resources to expand their production in Ghana.”

His comments angered many Ghanaians who have had to endure power rationing for years now.

It is estimated that some 5 thousand industry workers are set to lose their jobs by September if the situation does not improve.

The Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), which recently announced close to 3,000 people had been laid off, said the president’s comments were insensitive.

President of the Chamber, Seth Adjei Baah, said it takes the combined efforts of many entrepreneurs to create jobs for Ghanaians and their concerns must be not be taken lightly.

“And if we are talking about foreigners coming in to invest, we should look at the figures realistically; how much has come through [foreign] direct investment over the last one year? How many new companies have been established and how many people have been employed during the period,”? he asked.

Mr. Adjei Baah said the energy crisis is a national headache that must be cured and not wished away.

In any case, “it is not only smart people who do business. Some people do business because they have to do something to live, so if they cannot do it and employ people, then it is a challenge,” he emphasised.

For him, “it is not a matter of being smart or not being smart. The fact is that the energy crisis is collapsing businesses.”

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