The Regional Secretary of the Ghana Government Pensioners Association and a former Director of Education, Mr Lawrence Y. Babu, has said that the Republic Day celebrations is set aside for senior citizens and not for pensioners. He suggested that, the focus should go beyond government pensioners to include retired workers from the private sector and all who have contributed to national development in one way or the other.
Mr. Babu was speaking at a programme organized by the Regional Coordinating Council in partnership with the Wa Municipal Assembly to commemorate the Republic Day and award Senior Citizens for their services to Ghana.
The former education director also called on the youth to tap from Senior Citizens, their pool of knowledge and experiences, adding that “we are [still] energetic and ready to share”.
Payment of service benefits
On his part, Ex-WOT Dozie Kwasi lamented over the delay in payments of their service benefits, which he said is putting undue pressure on those of them in the helm of affairs in the remote areas. He disclosed that the phenomena has being in existence since 2016, thereby making traveling to and fro the regional capital alone difficult. “You will call those [colleagues] in Accra and they have received their monies whilst Controller and Accountant General in the region keep asking us for one document or the other”, he said. The ex-military officer appealed to the Regional Minister, Alhaji Alhassan Sulemana to come to their aid in seeing to it that payments to beneficiaries are done on time.
Wa UDS Autonomy
Speaking at the event, other Senior Citizens bemoaned the issue of reckless driving and parking at unauthorized places by vehicle users in the Wa municipality for example. They also expressed concerns over underage children being allowed to drive on the roads which poses threat to lives and property. They thus called on the Municipal Chief Executive, Hon Issahaku Tahiru Momin to ensure that such anomalies are corrected.
Other issues of concern raised include the lack of doctors at the Wa Regional Hospital and the lack of autonomy (University status) for the Wa Campus of the University for Development Studies (UDS). They opined it is important that the Wa Campus be given a full university status to accelerate its development.
The Regional Minister in his response disclosed his intention to make room for more senior citizens to be part of the forum in subsequent years, and pledged to introduce transport system from next year to ease movement to the venue. He scheduled a meeting for Tuesday July 3, 2018 to meet with the Regional Boss of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department in the company of the leadership of the Senior Citizens to address the issue of delay in payments of the service benefits.
Hon Alhaji Sulemana further indicated the government’s readiness to make all three campuses of the UDS autonomous universities. He urged the Senior Citizens to exercise patience and continue to contribute their quota towards developing the Upper West Region and the nation at large.