As Ghanaians head to the polls tomorrow, concerns are being raised over the impact the general elections will have on business activities across the country.
It is expected that the country’s productivity level will also reduce drastically due to the election tomorrow.
Some sectors are expected to feel the impact more than others.
In a bid to ensure productivity levels do not drop drastically tomorrow 7th December, 2016, some businesses have devised mechanisms to enable workers partake in the elections and at the same time work.
In the banking industry for example most banks have announced the banking halls will be closed to the general public from between 12non and 3pm.
UMB for instance in a message to its customers stated that “due to the general elections, all UMB branches will close at 3pm on December 7, 2016.”
Omni Bank also in a message to its customers said “dear customer, we wish to notify you that our banking halls will close to the general public at 12pm on Wednesday, 7th December 2016.”
ATM machines of banks are however expected to be active during the period.
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But the story is slightly different in the retail industry.
Checks by Citi Business News reveal that most operators in that industry will not be opening for business in a bid to exercise their civic right.
We are closing down and I don’t know when I will be able to vote and besides I will be one of the people who will not go home after voting. My workers and I stay in different places so it will be inconvenient for us to come to work after voting and I will also advice them to stay at their various polling stations after voting.” one retailer said.
Another retailer, madam Sai says “After voting, there is no point of me coming to work, so I will go home and rest and resume work the next day.”
The story is no different in the informal sector.
Sally is a trader at the Okaishie market. She together with her colleagues, tell Citi Business News how they intend to shuffle between work and voting on that day.
“I will close it, I don’t know the time I’ll be back and I live at Kwashieman. So after voting I will take it as a holiday.”
“Of course I will vote and because voting is very crucial, I will have to close my shop. After voting I will decide what to do next but if I am not able to come to open my shop it won’t be a problem for me because my shop is always there.” said another trader.
Andy also a trader tells Citi Business News “I will close my shop and go and cast my vote. I will come back to the shop after.”
But the CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mark Badu Aboagye believes the election should not interrupt productivity at the workplace. He explains businesses should effectively combine the two as both are equally important.
“It’s a normal business day nothing is going to happen, so business is going to go on. Those who have shops should go and open their shops. This is not the first time we are holding an election and on each occasion we have had the opportunity to do business alongside the Election Day. As a Ghanaian we need to do business and vote as well. But we don’t expect business to come to a standstill. So don’t leave your business totally, make sure you vote and make sure you do your business alongside.”
By: Jessica Ayorkor Aryee/ Anita Arthur citibusinessnews.com/Ghana