In a thought-provoking speech delivered on behalf of Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia at the 2023 Sekote Tenglebgre Festival, Upper East Regional Minister Mr. Stephen Yakubu voiced apprehensions about the potential impact of the 24-hour economy on family dynamics in the region.
The Sekote Tenglebgre Festival, organized by the Chiefs and People of Sekoti in the Nabdam District, served as the platform for the Minister to share the Vice President’s insights on the proposed 24-hour economy.
Minister Yakubu, addressing the gathered audience, expressed his concern that the implementation of a 24-hour economy could adversely affect familial relationships. He emphasized the importance of maintaining a balance between work and personal life, particularly highlighting the intimate aspect of family relationships.
“The vice president is saying that he understands the region. He says this 24-hour economy, my brothers; when we work in our farms and we are tired, we have to sleep with our wives, ooo. We have to be with our wives, ooo,” the Regional Minister emphasized.
The Minister further cautioned against the potential consequences of demanding night work, suggesting that it might lead to challenges in family life. “In the night, you want us to go and be farming, and then people will come and take our wives away? Naa, chairman, we have to be careful with this 24-hour thing, ooo,” he added.
The discussion surrounding the 24-hour economy stems from former President Mahama’s proposal, which has been lauded as a ‘game changer’ by some experts, including Anthony Yaw Baah, the general secretary of Ghana’s Trade Union Congress (TUC). The policy is aimed at addressing Ghana’s unemployment challenges.
However, the proposal has faced skepticism from certain quarters, notably within the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the party’s presidential candidate, and others argue that the policy is not novel, as it is already being implemented in some sectors of Ghana’s economy. Some critics accuse Mahama of not fully comprehending the intricacies of his own proposal.
The concerns raised by Minister Yakubu shed light on the multifaceted considerations involved in the implementation of a 24-hour economy, emphasizing the need for a careful examination of its potential impact on various aspects of society, including family life. As Ghana contemplates this economic shift, the debate continues on how best to balance economic growth with the preservation of social and familial bonds.