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‘Let’s Export Labour To Liberia, Other Countries’
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The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research is calling for an amendment to the current Labour Act, 2003, Act 651 to enable the export of labour, particularly unemployed graduates to three English West African countries-Sierra Leone, Liberia and The Gambia.

Director of ISSER, Professor Felix Asante told Business Finder on the sidelines of the launch of the Ghana Social Development Outlook 2016 that this is one of the pragmatic ways of reducing graduate unemployment in the country which is in hundreds of thousands. Liberia and Sierra Leone are two English West African countries hit hard by civil war for about a decade or more, a situation that led to the exodus of some of its human capital to Europe and the USA in particular.

According to the economist, there is huge potential for skilled human resources in the English speaking West African countries- Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia.

Commenting on whether the Free SHS policy was sustainable going forward, Professor Asante said “it can be sustainable…but we have to see the whole policy document before we can be sure it is sustainable going forward.”

“The free SHS will lead to massive enrolment into universities and it was the need for the labour act to be altered to enable us export graduates to three English West African countries.”

Continuing he said “Let me congratulate the Government of Ghana for a successful implementation of the Free SHS programme. Just like all programme implementation, there will be problems with the rollout and I am hoping that these will be solved come next year.”
Some issues of concern he raised included the need to discuss and come out with a funding arrangement for the programme which will see to its implementation under successive administrations, capacity to admit students who will pass the SSSCE and what next for the graduates after completion of school.

He was however hopeful that Ghana could become an education hub in the sub-region, adding for this to happen, there was the need to categorize secondary and tertiary institutions. “This should be for both the private and public institutions. It is high time we have grade A, B and C institutions”, he emphasized.

On the petroleum sector, the ISSER Director called for some direct government intervention to help cushion the effects of petroleum price increases despite deregulating the sector.

Some of the intervention he said includes the reduction of some of the levies of fuel and the use of the Price Stabilization and Recovery Levy in the petroleum product price build-up.
Deregulation can lead to increase in the price of petroleum products in the short run which can translate into increased cost of transportation, increase in cost of rent, decline in real income of workers and ultimately lead to job cuts.

The third edition of the Ghana Social Development Outlook 2016 examined the state of social development in Ghana and proffered policy prescriptions. Thematic areas addressed included health, education, employment, housing, governance, water and sanitation, energy and environment.
Source: The Finder

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