Appeal To National Workers Broadcast To The Nation
April 2, 1962
As from today, our civil servants, public officers and workers in state enterprises throughout Ghana will have adopted the new hours of work recently decided upon by the Government. Our public officers are now called upon to work harder and a little longer than they did before. I know that many of you understand the reasons for the change, and will accept gladly this new arrangement.
As I said in Kumasi last week when I opened the first biennial conference of the Trade Union Congress, we must all, in our present stage of development, discard completely our old ideas about work. We have got to constantly remind ourselves that our total effort must be directed to providing honest and loyal service to the nation and as far as lies in our power, to the raising of production and productivity in our officers, our workshops, our garages, our classrooms and farms. By so doing, we make a positive contribution to the realization of our socialist objectives which are for the ultimate good of all the people of Ghana.
The hours of work, which are to begin today, envisage that every worker will put in forty-four hours of work every week. But many representations have been made to me that the time of finishing, that is 5 p.m., will prevent people from taking part in sporting and other social activities, and that this will, ultimately affect the efficiency of the workers.
After careful consideration, I have decided that the number of working hours for public officers and workers in state enterprises should be fixed at forty-two hours instead of forty-four hours a week, and that office hours should be as follows: from Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the mornings and 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the afternoons, and on Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to noon.
I hope that public officers and state workers will not only realise their obligations to the State, but also accept fully the responsibility which they share for the task of reconstruction in which we are engaged. The nation expects from you all maximum dedication to its service.
The party and the government are working and planning day and night to provide the people of Ghana with full employment, the widest possible opportunities for the development of the individual and the rising of their living standards. None of these can be achieved, however, without the establishment of national stability, internal security and national wealth and prosperity. I would like to call upon the firms and shops to adapt themselves to these new hours of work and to finish a little later than they do at present, say, at 6:00 p.m.
This should enable public officers and state workers to do their shopping in ample time after office hours without much inconvenience. I am sure in this way they will be making their contribution to the success of our national effort. I would like now to refer to my speech in Kumasi on the 24th March about the pattern of business organisation in Ghana. I said then that foreign firms would have to re-invest in Ghana 60 percent of their net profit after tax. I would like to make quite clear what the objectives of this policy are. Firstly, it is to accelerate the growth of Ghana’s capital stock. Secondly, it is to conserve foreign exchange and maintain the national reserves at a safe level. By doing these two things, we hope to make Ghana economically strong and thereby to attract additional new foreign investment from all parts of the world.
We recognize of course that foreign companies have a duty to their shareholders and so while we ask our friends to share with us some of the sacrifices that we ourselves are making for the sake of Ghana’s development, I would like to emphasise that they will still be free to distribute to their shareholders 40 percent of their net profit after income tax has been paid.
Moreover, where a company gives proof of having reinvested all or part of this 40 percent in any one year (as may well be the case in new and expanding enterprises) appropriate allowance will be made in subsequent years.
And now countrymen, on Saturday, the Government asked all for the deportation of a number of persons, mostly Lebanese nationals, who have been found to be engaging in currency smuggling, illicit diamond dealing and the smuggling of our gold, currency notes and other negotiable securities out of the country. This activity constitutes a dangerous attack on the Ghana pound and therefore threatens our economy.
Our critics who do not, and care not to understand our policies and actions criticize us in a rather naive, uninformed and sometimes even irresponsible manner. Some of them know the facts, yet they criticize us for shear spite. Others do not know the facts and yet they constitute themselves into our judges. We have a duty to ignore these criticisms, for we are determined to protect our nation and people from external and foreign subversions and intrigues, and from the evil manoeuvres of wreckers, extortionists and saboteurs.
We in Ghana have a record of which we are justly proud hospitality, racial tolerance and friendliness to all strangers within our midst. Foreign nationals in Ghana, however, whether they are visitors to our country or whether they are resident here, have equal responsibility not to indulge in any activities which are prohibited by our laws, or which are calculated to endanger the economy and security of the state.
We wish to work together to develop Ghana into a strong, prosperous and Progressive nation. To those foreign nationals who are prepared to identify themselves with our cause, we shall give every cooperation, support and protection.
Let us all rise up to the challenge of our time, and as never before, devote all our energies to the service of our country and the maintenance of its peace, stability and prosperity.