“What we are doing now is purely manual but if we are networked, we can get these agencies a lot of work to do, such as dispatching and receiving telephone bills, electricity and water bills for the operators like Vodafone, Ghana Water Company and others,” Mr.Addo emphasized.
Accrabased Adom FM’s political show, ‘Burning Point’ Mr. Addo said the lack of a networked infrastructure within Ghana Post is making it impossible for the company to assure existing and potential clients of its ability to meet parcel delivery targets; causing them to stop using Ghana Post’s services. “All these entities fade off from our operations. I think the computerization system is very important to us now,” said Mr. Addo.
He stated that it important for the government to take serious interest in Ghana Post’s business by injecting a lot of money into its operation. “The last time we had money from the government was in 2008,” Mr. Addo said, adding that for four good years nothing has come to them. He noted that “it was just recently that the workers had their salaries increased. “If you do business like this it will fail,” Mr. Addo said. He explained that the major component of Ghana Post’s operation involves the use of money.
“Anytime fuel prices are increased in Ghana, our operational costs are also affected and nothing has been done about it for a long time”, he alleged. Mr. Addo indicated that the revenue output at Ghana Post is at standstill, making it difficult for them to break-even. “So if government decides to inject more money into our operations, we are sure of making 10% or 20% of revenue increase every year, and this will go a long way to help us and break-even as well,” Mr. Addo further explained. He noted that the problem of Ghana Post started after government sold it shares in Ghana Telecom to Vodafone. He believes that the split of Ghana Post and Ghana Telecom actually did not help them at all.
“We were not having problems when Malaysians were in control. All these problems we are encountering started after Ghana Post was made to operate by itself,” he emphasized. Government previously owned Ghana Telecom, which included Ghana Post. In 2007, the conglomerate was split into two, and government later sold its shares in the then Ghana Telecom to Vodafone, leaving the postal company behind.
“I have worked at the Ghana Post for the past 30 years just after my secondary education, hoping that one day it will be good, but for the past two decades the situation has not been good,” the Union Chairman added. Ghana Post currently has about 350 offices nationwide.
However, before the split, the company had 420 branches across the country and as well as other sub-agencies. “We have been calling for this because we need to diversify. Today we are doing other financial services like Western Union, Cash Post, Internal Money Transfer and others as well. These are clear indication of diversifications,” said Mr. Addo. “We actually want to add the Post Office Bank to our operation. We have done it before and we can do it. We have all the structures around. Ghana government must help us.
Post office is also important for us but Post Savings Bank will help us a lot,” he lamented. He believes there is potential in Ghana Post and if government decides to inject a extra money, they have the capacity or resources to make the company profitable. “We cannot say that we want private participation, but if government decides, then we go for that. The only thing workers will want from the government is their job security. We don’t mind the private participation provided we have our jobs secured,” he indicated.
He mentioned that, currently they are struggling to pay workers all their statutory obligations, such health benefits, SSNIT contributions and others. He noted that their salaries always delay before coming, which is making like difficult for the staff. “It is time for us to organize ourselves to see whether we can pay the statutory obligations to the workers, including Providence Fund,” he noted. The Providence Fund is the contribution made from the workers’ salaries. The paper has also gathered that the deducted monies are not getting to the Fund Managers and that is a worry to the entire workers especially those on retirement.
“The Providence Fund is our future, so we want management to consider the payment more promptly than what they are doing now,” Mr. Addo appealed. He called on the Government to honour its promise to all state enterprises, including Ghana Post. “If the government allows us, we can do a lot and improve the status of the company. These courier services post their goods through us. Ghanaians should know that Ghana Post is alive and not dead. We are still kicking and hope that Ghana Post will come back fully again. We have the advantage to do better and Ghanaians must know that Ghana Post exists and we will continue to exist,” he assured.
Meanwhile, Kwaku Kwarteng, the opposition New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for Obuasi and member of the Select Committee on Telecommunication and Joseph Amankwah Annor, MP for Upper West Akyem have promised to put pressure on government to help solve the problem of Ghana Post. Hon. Annor called for the reintroduction of street naming which he believes will help address some of the issues facing Ghana Post.
Story by: Fred Yaw Sarpong