Member of Parliament for Bortianor-Ngleshie Amanfro, Sylvester Tetteh, has called for more clarity on the 24-hour economy policy.
He stated that the proponent of the policy is confused.
According to him, clarity, when given, will allow for further scrutiny of the policy.
“All I am saying is that I don’t see the distinction and we have to scrutinize the policy and critique it well. The one who proposed the policy himself is confused. The distinction must be made clear to us.”Sylvester Tetteh
This follows the release of the policy document by the NDC. According to the policy document, the 24-hour policy will primarily but not exclusively focus on a 24-hour agro-processing industry, 24-hour pharmaceutical industry, 24-hour manufacturing, 24-hour construction, 24-hour extractive industry (mining and quarrying), 24-hour sanitation and waste management, 24-hour leisure and hospitality industry, 24 digital start-ups and business process outsourcing, 24-hour financial services, 24-hour retail center, and 24-hour transportation.
Also selected public institutions with large customer traffic such as ports and harbors, customs and passport offices, and DVLA among others will be part of the 24-hour economy.
In his view, Honorable Sylvester Tetteh believes that the policy is not novel to Ghana’s economy.
“If you take your time, currently, the DVLA application is online, passport application is 24/7. If you go to ports and harbors, it is also 24 hours; customs there clear goods 24 hours. It is not new; 24-hour transportation system; the bus transportation system in this country does not sleep. They work 24/7. The airport works 24 hours. The train stations, when they are running, run 24 hours.
“All these things are running 24/7. The leisure and hospitality; there are night beaches. I have to see the distinct new idea the policy is bringing. 24-hour construction; the big construction companies along the motorway are always working around the clock. There are places that they have to make people work at night to meet some timeline.”Sylvester Tetteh
The Novelty Of The 24-Hour Economy Policy
In sharp contrast, Kwesi Prat argued that the policy’s prescription is significantly different from what exists in Ghana’s current economic dispensation. He cited some examples where his visit to the police station a few minutes after five was unproductive because the offices were closed.
“You say that the applications for a passport are online and therefore, you can do it in 24 hours. Do you know that after you have applied for your passport, it needs to be processed? The application is only one small part of the process of acquiring a passport. When you have applied online at midnight, or after midnight. Somebody has to process it and the people who process it come to work in the morning and work an 8-hour-a-day shift. So you cannot say that the passport office runs 24 hours.”Kwesi Prat
In response, Honorable Sylvester Tetteh indicated that the clarity Mr. Prat was presenting may not be practical as it will present significant administrative challenges.
“What it means, from the distinction he [Mr.. Prat] is saying, is that instead of them working 8 hours, all of these staff, we will run a shift for them to work 24 hours on 3 shifts; those who work at the passport office. The process of getting a passport requires different institutional representations to get your passport processed for you.. When you go to the passport office, it is not the staff of the passport office alone that ensures that you get your passport on time.
“There will be directors for morning, afternoon, and evening so they can run the 24-hour shift. The distinctions we are seeking, we must have them clearly so that we can scrutinize very well.”Honorable Sylvester Tetteh
While, Mr Prat indicated that there was no need for a director for each shift, Honorable Sylvester Tetteh insisted that the proponents of the policy must come clearer again. He further stated that he will delve deeper into the policy document and critique the policy to make it better.