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Sunday, February 25, 2024

NDC Defends Mahama’s 24-Hour Economy

 

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has outlined its plans for a 24-hour economy policy, which it intends to implement if elected to govern the country.

The policy aims to encourage businesses and companies to operate round the clock in a three-shift system, creating an environment that promotes productivity, competitiveness, and well-paying jobs.

According to the NDC, the 24-hour economy policy is a deliberate intervention to fulfill former President John Dramani Mahama’s vision of creating sustainable jobs for Ghanaians.

The party plans to achieve this by modernizing and mechanizing agriculture, incentivizing the private sector, promoting agro-processing and manufacturing, and transforming Ghana into an import substitution and export-led economy.

Furthermore, the policy aims to stabilize the national currency, improve reserves, lower inflation and interest rates, generate more employment opportunities, and enhance livelihoods while boosting import substitution and export drives.

The industries highlighted for the implementation of the 24-hour economy include agro-processing, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, construction, extractive industry, sanitation and waste management, leisure and hospitality, and transportation, among others. Notably, selected public institutions with high customer traffic, such as Ports and Harbors, Customs, Passport Office, and DVLA, will also be part of the 24-hour economy.

In a 14-page report, the NDC emphasized that the 24-hour economy policy would be integrated with other national development initiatives, such as education and training, healthcare services, agriculture, affordable housing, efficient public transport, and efficient justice delivery.

To support businesses in adopting the 24-hour economy, the NDC has proposed several measures. These include providing improved security and public safety, offering cheaper and reliable electricity based on a Time Of Use (TOU) tariff system, granting tax incentives to companies that subscribe to the policy, and extending financial support to strategic agro-processing factories and manufacturing companies.

The NDC also plans for the passage of a new Employment Act that would establish the regulatory framework for the 24-hour economy in consultation with organized labor, the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), and other relevant stakeholders. The Act would work in tandem with the existing Labor Act.

The party clarified that companies already operating round the clock would automatically be included in the policy and provided with the necessary incentives. However, businesses and companies wishing to take advantage of the incentive packages would have to voluntarily sign up for the 24-hour economy policy.

As the country currently lacks any deliberate policy supporting or incentivizing businesses to operate 24/7, the NDC’s proposal seeks to bridge this gap and provide the necessary support for businesses undertaking such operations.

In addition to the 24-hour economy policy, the NDC pledged to promote discipline and efficiency in the existing eight-hour work system in public institutions and additional work shifts by introducing measures to eliminate practices that hinder productivity in the public sector.

 

By Vincent Kubi

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