A worker displaying the dumsor placards
The constant power outages, known in local parlance as dumsor, which is destroying businesses and deepening the financial woes of Ghanaians, came to the fore during the May Day celebration in Kumasi, the Ashanti Regional capital.
Virtually all the placards which the workers brought to the Jubilee Park – venue of the celebration – had inscriptions which either lambasted or cast insinuations at the Mahama-led NDC government over the dumsor plague.
Some of the inscriptions were ‘Ghana is collapsing because of dumsor,’ ‘We are not animals to sleep in darkness,’ ‘We are tired of dumsor Mahama,’ ‘Dumsor is a killer’ and ‘Mr. President fix the dumsor,’ among others.
The agitated workers openly expressed sadness about the lackadaisical attitude of the NDC government in solving the power crisis which had adversely affected all aspects of the economy for the past three years.
Ironically, this year’s May Day celebration had a theme which has something to do with the power crisis – ‘Addressing the energy crisis: the role of organized labour.’
Addressing the gathering, Cynthia M.A.S. Ananoo, Ashanti Regional Secretary, TUC, was sad that thousands of people had lost their jobs and ‘more are likely to suffer the same unpleasant fate’ due to the power crisis.
She said the Dumsor started three years ago as energy crisis but now it had turned to be ‘severe economic crisis,’ pointing out that the dumsor is now posing a great threat to the economic, social and political stability of the state.
Cynthia Ananoo charged President Mahama to fix the crisis once and for all and stop managing the problem, indicating that workers in the country were not happy at the snail-pace at which the power crisis was being solved by government.
According to her, aside resulting in loss of jobs, the erratic power supply is gradually making Ghana lose its credential as a preferred destination for investment by foreign nationals.
She said the intended privatization of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) by government is not a best decision stressing, mechanisms should be put in place for public and private institutions to pay their bills promptly to make the ECG vibrant.
The TUC Regional Secretary warned government not to approve the sale of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB), saying that public assets must be maintained as public assets. She added that the private sector taking over public institutions must be discouraged.
Cynthia Ananoo said workers strongly oppose the idea by government to secure a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and its conditionalities since that would worsen the financial quagmire of Ghanaians.
Kojo Bonsu, the Kumasi Mayor; DCOP Kofi Boakye, the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, heads of the various security agencies in the region and chiefs were among the dignitaries that graced the occasion.
Acting Ashanti Regional Minister, Eric Opoku, appealed to workers to exercise patience as government works around the clock to solve the power crisis which he admitted is adversely affecting Ghanaians.
FROM I.F. Joe Awuah Jnr., Kumasi
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