‘No Ghana card, no salary’ directive to government workers suspended

The Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD) has rescinded its decision not to pay public sector workers if they do not have a Ghana card.

Government workers risked forfeiting their December 2021 salaries per an initial directive from the CAGD.

Controller and Accountant General’s Department
Controller and Accountant General’s Department

The move was said to be part of the Government of Ghana’s efforts to deliver a speedy, secured, and verified payroll service to government employees and pensioners while reducing the risk of undeserving payments or claims.

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But the government through consultations with the Ministries of Employment and Labour Relations,  Finance, and the Account General have backtracked over concerns raised by labour unions.

In a communiqué issued after a joint meeting on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, the two Ministries have asked the CAGD to “port the names of public sector workers in their existing databases onto the NIA platform and thereafter inform the various institutions of any unregistered staff that may exist.”

With this latest intervention, the December ultimatum given workers on the government payroll to acquire Ghana cards before receiving their pay is no longer going to take effect.

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However, state institutions have been advised to encourage their staff members to register with the National Identification Authority (NIA) to secure the Ghana card as soon as possible.

There have been agitations by a section of government workers and unions since the Department issued the directive on Tuesday, October 12, 2021, with some asking the Controller and Accountant-General to reconsider the directive and withdraw it completely or have the deadline extended.

According to organized labour, the NIA should bear the responsibility of capturing government workers on its database and not compel them to secure the cards.

They insisted that the decision is a lazy approach towards addressing lapses in the government’s payroll system.

The National Identification Authority however justified the directive, saying, it is a step in the right direction.

Earlier, the CAGD said it will not withdraw its directive.

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