NDC Flagbearer John Mahama has revealed that his party will ensure that stipends are paid to Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributors who lose their jobs due to natural occurrences or disasters like the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking at the party’s manifesto launch, Monday, he said that to make this a reality the party will amend the National Pensions Act 2008 (Act 766).

“We will amend the Act to allow contributors such as private teachers among others who lose their jobs suddenly due to natural occurrences like Covid-19 to be paid a stipend while they search for a new job”.

His comments follow a survey by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), in collaboration with UNDP and the World Bank which revealed that about 42,000 employees were laid off during the country’s partial lockdown in March.

About 770,000 people, making up 25.7% of Ghana’s workforce, had their wages reduced and the working hours of about 700,000 employees were decreased.

The World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, Pierre Laporte stated that the survey shows how deeply Ghana’s private sector has suffered as a result of the pandemic.

In an interview with JoyNews Richard Nyarko, a private school teacher revealed how she had lost her job when the pandemic hit.

The single mother was compelled to move back to her village in the Central Region as she could no longer afford to pay her rent in Accra.

To resolve this, John Mahama said that the affected workers will be able to survive on the stipends given until they find new employment.

He added that his party will also amend the National Pensions Act 2008 (Act 766) to improve the service delivery and financial efficiency of the SSNIT Scheme.