Several businesses that are not in the essential services category including key state institutions have shut down their offices for the next two weeks in line with the partial lockdown.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in imposing a lockdown on the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area including Kasoa in the Central Region, and the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area, exempted providers of essential services comprising some members of the Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary.
In clarifying who makes up the Executive arm of government, the Presidency in a statement mentioned Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Senior Staffers and Special Assistants, and urged other members of the Public Service to adhere to an earlier directive issued by the Public Services Commission which seeks to reduce the number of staff working at the same time; while ensuring the continuous delivery of core services as mandated.
A visit to some key state institutions showed that they were completely closed or had skeletal staff working in compliance with the directive of the Public Services Commission.
At the Registrar Generals Department, the Citi Business News team were met by an empty car park, locked doors and a security guard. The environment around the office which is normally bustling with activity had little to no movement.
The Chief Security at the Registrar Generals Department, Ricky Larbi, told Citi Business News they will be closed for the next 2 weeks.
“We are not working, none of the workers came in. They say we can get back to work in about 2 weeks’ time. Since I arrived at the premises at about 6:30 am, I haven’t seen any worker here or any client who’s come in to register their business or do other types of business. The directive not to come to work was given by the Registrar General, Mrs. Jemima Oware.”
A visit to the head office of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust, SSNIT, also revealed that only a few employees were at work with fewer clients trooping in. A client, who couldn’t be attended to, Martin Gaisie, spoke to Citi Business News.
“I came to pay for my SSNIT; but it looks like they are not at work. The cashier is not around so I’m not able to cash-in. I’ve been asked to go home and return later. On a normal day they have enough people to attend to us but it looks like because of what we are experiencing in the system they don’t have enough people.”
The story at the Ghana Revenue Authority, GRA, head office, reflected the situation at the Registrar Generals Department as the gates were locked, except that the car park was filled to capacity with the Authority’s vehicles.
Meanwhile, a visit to some providers of essential services such as pharmacies and fuel stations revealed that sales had reduced.