Let's be circumspect in our pronouncements
.. major breakthroughs in economy expected ... God Willing Accra, May 1, GNA- President John Agyekum Kufuor on Sunday called on Ghanaians whether in organized labour or politics to exercise due sense of limits in their conduct and pronouncements. He said sometimes, the natural desire to survive in a competitive, diversified environment could drive individuals or groups to throw caution and good reason to the wind and pursue parochial interests above the common good. "This is an inherent danger that all of us must guard against both in labour front and in national politics for opportunistic pursuit of freedom without due sense of responsibility invariably degenerates into licensed chaos. These are the worst enemies of national integrity and development", he added. President Kufuor made the call when addressing this year's May Day parade of workers in Accra. The theme for the celebration was, " Unity of purpose under freedom of Association, the goal of organized labour." President Kufuor said organized labour had come a long way and had survived even the most turbulent periods in Ghana's history and was expected to continue to thrive, especially with the present liberal atmosphere which must be harnessed to enhance productivity and the continuous development of the nation. He said this way, the working force could claim commensurate returns on their labour, adding, " you can only share when these is something to share. So let us resolve to be as productive as possible. Government will not unduly exploit labour." President Kufuor appealed to organized labour to guard against any tendency toward unhealthy rivalries and intolerance of divergent opinions within their ranks. He gave the assurance that Government would continue its policy of open administration and broad consultations with the National Labour Commission and National Tripartite Committee and the leadership of organized labour to secure continued enhanced harmony. On the economy, President Kufuor said it was very unfortunate that adversaries of the Government were making a political capital out of the recent increases in the prices of petroleum products, an important national issue. He reiterated that the de-regulation of the petroleum sector was expected to finally lift the load of subsidizing its products from the economy and was an important part of the process of streamlining the economy and would ultimately benefit the entire society. President Kufuor said the Government had not abandoned the street hawkers and sachet water producers, it rather had much respect for them for their entrepreneurial spirit. However, he said the congested streets and pavements and the unhygienic conditions of the cities and towns had assumed unacceptable proportions and had to receive immediate and serious attention. President Kufuor said the Government and society as a whole must be mindful of the plight of those affected and in view of this, the Government had directed the Assemblies to go into immediate and continuous consultations with the street hawkers and the sachet water producers in order that together they try to accommodate each other and find an enduring and acceptable solutions. He appealed to Ghanaians and organized labour to see these long-standing issues as national problems to be tackled not on the basis of opportunistic partnership but rather on the basis of concerted national effort. President Kufuor said the Government was managing the nation efficiently, effectively and with foresight, adding, "God willing and with your continued support, this year will see some major breakthroughs in the economy and also some changes in the day-to-day life of Ghanaians." He announced that the Government in partnership with Alcoa, the World's leading aluminium company had secured a 30 million dollar working capital to reactivate work on VALCO smelter plant in July this year. Mr Alex K. Bonney, Chairman of the National Executive Committee of the TUC who chaired the function said developments on the global scene and emerging challenges for the country's development demanded more respect for workers rights. Twenty workers who distinguished themselves last year were honoured, each received a 20 inch colour television set, a certificate and a badge.