Government’s expectation of an accelerated economic development resulting from far-sighted policies, would improve pension arrangements for the elderly, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has said.
With government’s determination to bring significant changes in tackling critical social issues, and leveraging on increased signals of sector-specific policies yielding anticipated returns, the President said his administration was making efforts to address the needs of key demographic segments of the Ghanaian society.
Thus, the Finance Ministry was already working on procedures to streamline and improve the administration of pensions, President Akufo-Addo saidon Saturday when he hosted some 600 senior citizens to a luncheon at the State Banquet Hall in Accra, to mark Ghana’s 57th year as a Republic.
Noting that the issue of the health, wellbeing and support for the elderly was of critical importance in any social welfare policy, President Akufo-Addo said senior citizens were vital members of the society and his government was committed to ensuring the provision of an effective social protection and safety net for the aged.
As a result, government was putting up specifics pension arrangements to cover the aged across the demographic spread in the country.
The measures include the setting up of pension arrangements for farmers in major cash crop agricultural sectors like cocoa, coffee, sheanuts, palm oil, pineapple and cashew nuts; and for members of small scale business associations, like umbrella organizations such as GPRTU/PROTOA and Association of Small Scale Industries (ASSI), and similar associations across the country.
Additionally, senior citizens would ride free on all public transportation after being issued with a specialised ‘pass’.
President Akufo-Addo said “we shall continue to recognise and honour the sacrifices and inputs made to the growth and development of our nation by all of you gathered here this afternoon.”
He said the NPP government was committed to the realisation of the pledges it made to develop and implement policies for the aged; mainstream aging issues into the framework and strategy of national development; and was “rolling out programmes and initiatives geared to this end.”
The President expressed gratitude for the significant contributions made by the Ghana’s senior citizens to the building of modern Ghana, saying “our nation remains indebted to you. Your names should be enshrined in letters of gold in our history, because you have helped enhance the image of our country.”
He urged them (senior citizens) to speak out against the ills of society and to join in his government’s fight against corruption, social and economic injustice, illegal mining and vigilantism.
“We should not demand any more work from you in the twilight of your lives you should speak out against these ills in service to God and country.”
The President also exhorted them to engage the authorities of the society to point out their shortcomings and not to fall into the temptation of telling them what would please them.
“It would be equally tempting to tell me that I am the best thing that ever happened in Ghana, and it would be even more tempting to tell me to ignore my critics. I expect that, as senior citizens, you will not walk this road, but will allow the moral authority of your status to justify your interventions,” he said.