15.04.2005 General News

Govt to re-institute sustainable ESB

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Nsawam (E/R), April 15, GNA - The Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Yaw Barimah has said that the government would soon come out with "a lasting and sustainable" End of Service Benefits (ESB) to workers. He said the Presidential Commission set up to look into the problem of end of service benefit given to workers was on course and would soon come out with its recommendation.

Mr Barimah was reacting to a question about the restoration of the erstwhile End-of-Service Benefit at a People's Assembly held at Nsawam on Thursday.

He said in the time past, it was only the government that paid the ESB, which created inconveniencies and urged workers to save so as not to be found wanting when they go on retirement. On the high petroleum prices, he noted that some drivers have taken "undue advantage" of the situation as an excuse to create more hardship in the country.

Mr Barimah said before the increase of the petroleum products, the government met with the leadership of the various transport unions as a pre-cautionary measure to reduce the burden on the citizenry, but some unscrupulous drivers were not adhering to the directive to charge the 30 per cent fare increase.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Nsawam, Mr Magnus Opare Asamoah, assured the people of the government's preparedness to complete all roads awarded on contract in the Akuapem South Constituency on time. Mr Asamoah, who is also the Deputy Minister of Roads and Transport, said as a means to speed up the road construction in the constituency, he and the District Chief Executive (DCE) were at the verge of securing a caterpillar for the Assembly to help rehabilitate all roads. He said the government would soon increase the Mass Metro buses to about 950 this year to be distributed to the various districts to ease the transportation problem.

The Akuapem South DCE, Mr Andrew Yaw Nyarko said the Assembly constructed 35 schools, 140 KVIPs and in association with the Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA) provided 40 boreholes to various communities last year.

He was worried at the way people in some of the districts were not prepared to form WATSON committees as required by the CWSA so as to benefit from the community water project.

Some of the participants expressed worry over how people, who claimed to be refugees were coming into the country, thus posing security threat to the nation.

They described some of them as "mercenaries" and not refugees and called on the security agencies to be vigilant on them.

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