Gov’t suspends plan to pay public workers via E-Zwich

EzwichGovernment has temporarily backed down on its move to pay public sector workers through the electronic payment platform, E-Zwich, following resistance by the workers.

The Finance Ministry in a bid to rid the system of payroll fraud introduced the plan, consequent to which a directive was issued to all public servants to obtain e-zwich cards by May 31 or risk having their salaries suspended.

A statement issued by the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) in April 2016 said “the CAGD will suspend the salaries of employees who do not register for the e-zwich cards by the deadline.”

But the workers have kicked against the move describing it as a “kakai E-zwich programme”.

At a meeting held between the 12 labour unions in the country who form the Forum, the Finance Ministry, and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations Thursday agreed to the suspension of the programme which was to take effect at the end of May, 3FM’s Sarah Parko reported

It was also agreed at the said meeting that no worker should have his name deleted from the payroll for failing to submit an e-zwich number and particulars to the CAGD as directed by the Finance Minister, Seth Terkper.

Dr Isaac Bampoe

Dr. Bampoe Addo

“The meeting concluded that effective end of May 2016, every worker of the public service will continue to receive his/her entire salary through the traditional banking system as has been the case all this while, whether they have registered with e-zwich or not” President of the Forum, Dr. Isaac Bampoe Addo announced.

The Forum has argued that the programme should have been made optional and not compulsory, claiming the e-zwich platform is ineffective in most part of the country.

The leadership of the Forum said few workers have complied with what it said is the ‘e-zwich scare’ due to “the threat of losing their salaries”.

They said the CAGD should not view the compliance by the few workers as a sign of success for the programme.

“The unions have asked their members to remain calm and that the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations has said the payment system they were seeking to introduced has been suspended,” Sarah reported

By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana
Twitter @steviekgh

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