Musah Umar Farouq also reports from Wa that about 150 members of Organised Labour in the Upper West Region have participated in a peaceful demonstration in Wa to protest against the recent tariff increases and fuel price hikes.
The demonstrating workers started gathering at 7:15 a.m., and by 8:20 a.m., they were onto the streets. In all, 17 different unions participated in the exercise. Some 60 police personnel were deployed to protect the demonstrators as they embarked on the one hour 45 minutes march through some principal streets in the Municipality.
They later presented a petition, supposedly prepared from their national headquarters in Accra and bearing the name of the General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, Mr. Kofi Asamoah, although the document remained unsigned.
The Regional Secretary of the Trades Union Congress in the region, Mr. George Kofi Mude, asked the government to slash the increment in utility tariffs by 50 percent for both electricity and water.
He also advised the government to withdraw the Energy Sector Levies Act ( Act 899,2015), which implementation occasioned the steep increases in petroleum prices at the time crude oil prices were tumbling on the international market, and the exchange rate of the Ghana cedi appears stable.
He cautioned the government that any attempt to fix all our economic challenges within a couple of months, or even a year, could result in social instability, with negative implications for both the economy and the policy.
Mr. Mude said IMF policies had never delivered prosperity to any country anywhere in the world, and that the evidence of negative effects of IMF programmes is overwhelming. The march was incident free, and when it ended, Mr. Mude asked the workers to go back to their various work places, since the action was not a strike.
The Deputy Regional Minister, Dr. Musheibu Mohammed Alfa, praised the demonstrators for respecting the ground rules and maintaining discipline during their march, and said his outfit would submit the petition to the appropriate quarters for the necessary redress.
From Musah Umar Farouq
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