The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, has charged the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) to come out with a special scheme, targeting the informal sector workers to enable them contribute towards their pensions.
He said the informal sector employs the chunk of the country’s labour force, and therefore imperative for the authority to devise mechanisms to secure their future after active service.
Mr Baffour-Awuah made the call at the official opening of NPRA Zonal Office at Sunyani in the Bono Region, last Friday.
The Sunyani office, which would oversee Ahafo and Bono-East Regions, was the fourth to be opened in the country after the Tamale, Kumasi, and Takoradi Offices.
The minister appealed to workers, especially those in the informal sector to take keen interest in contributing towards their pension, in order to enjoy better life in their old age.
He urged the NPRA to step up public education about pension issues, indicating that some labour unrest often recorded in the country were as a result of workers lack of adequate information on labour issues.
The Board Chairman of NPRA, Mr Samuel Koranteng, in an address said the opening of the Sunyani office was in fulfilment of NPRA’s commitment towards the people of Bono, Ahafo and Bono-East Regions, noting that the office would render dedicated services to the people.
He said the National Pensions Act 2008 (Act 766) as amended, provided for unification of pension schemes in Ghana under the tier-three pension scheme.
The authority, he noted, was engaging all relevant stakeholders including the government, parliament and the affected institutions to ensure successful unification of all affected parallel schemes.
Mr Koranteng, however, urged labour unions to join forces with the NPRA in order to provide pensions’ education to their members to forestall agitations at the labour front.
The Krontihene of Sunyani, Nana Oboaman Bofotia Boamponsem II, who chaired the ceremony, decried the low level of financial literacy and “loss of confidence in the financial space” as challenges undermining pension coverage in the country.
He appealed to managers of the financial sector to streamline issues that had the tendency to crumble the sector in order to win public confidence.
FROM DANIEL DZIRASAH, SUNYANI