Ghana recorded about GH¢200 million dip in sales, representing 61 percent from May to September 2020 as a result of COVID-19, a joint study conducted by the UNDP, World Bank and Ghana Statistical Service and a business tracker study has revealed.
Professor Kwesi Amponsah-Tawiah, from the University of Ghana Business School, made this known, during the 2021 Safety Awareness Day, held in Accra.
The event, which was on the theme, “VRA In the Era of Covid-19: Our Business Sustainability,’’ sought to create awareness on the importance of occupational health and safety for VRA and other organisations in the country
Prof. Amponsah-Tawiah said the study showed that about 28 percent of business establishments reduced wages for 10 percent of their workforce in August/September, translating to wage reduction for an estimated 297,088 workers.
“This compares to 770,124 workers (46 per cent) in May/June who had their wage reduced. Also, 20 percent of business establishments reduced the hours worked for eight percent of the total workforce, translating into an estimated number of 230,361 workers in August/September,” he said.
Speaking on the need for sustainability of VRA in the midst of COVID-19, he suggested to the leadership of the Authority to prioritise issues relating to society, environment, and economy to be more profitable.
Prof. Amponsah-Tawiah urged companies to institute a policy frame that entailed training, provision of tools and mental health services to their personnel to enable them to be productive.
He urged organisations to accelerate the digitization of their operations, place value on the safety and health of employees, and care about the environment by taking steps to properly dispose of solid and liquid waste.
Prof. Amponsah-Tawiah advised employers to test their crisis response mechanisms to ascertain if they were adequate to address psychosocial and physical issues in their firms.
Mr Emmanuel Antwi-Darkwa, Chief Executive Officer of VRA, urged the staff of the company to use the occasion to reflect and understand that “safety has no substitute”.
He stated that the company’s Sustainability Plan would remain a beautiful poster and a nice screen saver if safety did not become their way of life.
Mr Antwi-Darkwa said as part of lessons learnt during the COVID-19 period, the Authority had prioritised seven initiatives in its Sustainability Plan, and it was their resolve to inculcate private sector mindset in public sector delivery.
He expressed hope that the introduction of digitization in the Authority’s processes and procedures would reduce cost, keep staff safe, and protect the environment and minimise productivity.
Mr Antwi-Darkwa assured the staff that management would continue to enhance its crisis management efforts to building resilience to deal with future crises.