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President Akufo-Addo assures aged of improved social protection services

By Ken
Sackey, GNA

Accra, July 2, GNA – 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 said on 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.

GNA

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