21.10.2004 Regional News

Civil Service Welfare/Project Committee inaugurated

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Accra, Oct. 21, GNA - A 19-member National Welfare/Project Committee of the Civil Servants Association of Ghana was inaugurated on Thursday to raise the morale of civil servants.

The committee under the chairmanship of Alhaji Nurudeen Jawula, Chief Director of the Ministry of Ports Harbours and Railways is to ensure the ultimate welfare of all civil servants, do away with retirement blues they faced and workout an attractive welfare package that would supplement government efforts for retirees.

Mr Yaw Barimah, Minister of Manpower Development and Employment, in a speech read for him said government was committed to enhancing the working conditions of civil servants and upgrade the service to a properly trained and motivated one capable of achieving the public-sector collaboration in the golden age of business.

"We want to restore the high profile image that the civil service of Ghana enjoyed in the sixties, a service that would work hand in glove with the executive and the private sector, with each party inspiring the other," he said.

Mr Barimah called on civil servants to see them themselves as agents of change and development.

He said the ongoing public sector management programme and the civil service performance programmes were part of government effort to establish a modern service.

Government, he said, would continue to promote a congenial environment for excellence, productivity and loyalty and noted that its relationship with the service would also continue to be governed by the tenets of the Constitution.

On pensions and CAP 30, a subject of grave concern to civil servants, Mr Barimah said the Presidential Commission on Pension would soon be advising government on the types of pension, which should be operated in the public service with regard to its sustainability and security for the Ghanaian worker.

He expressed the hope that recommendations of the Commission would address most of the concerns of civil servants.

Mr. Timothy Ogum, Chief Director of the Office of the Head of the Civil Service, said the Civil Servants Association had come a long way but there were still some areas of welfare, which still needed to be looked at for the sake of transparency and accountability.

"Issues related to conditions of service, remuneration and the provision of death or funeral benefits to members and a kind of recognition for civil servants on retirement by the association needed to be seriously looked at," he said.

He said there was discontentment by a section of civil servants on how one percent deductions from their salaries as dues were being used and had called on their executives to account for its disbursement. He noted that the only way forward for a unified association was self-audit and the initiation of programmes and projects for the welfare of members.

Mr. Ogum charged the Committee to review and revise their roles in a changing civil service and repackage their activities to achieve unity.

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