Members of the Ghana Artisans Association have served notice of their intended demonstration against the government if the promises made to them by the New Patriotic Party ahead of the 2016 general elections are not fulfilled in 14 days.
Addressing the media, the chairman of the association, Mr Osei-Assibey said the NPP, led by its then-flag bearer Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, now President, in 2016, promised artisans in the country heaven but are now giving them hell.
The chairman outlined the following reasons for the anger at the government:
1. 47 – 49% of mechanics have lost their jobs from 2017 to the first half of 2019 due to road constructions and other government projects;
2. this is because mechanics in the country don’t have a permanent place of work after their apprenticeship. Due to that many have been turned into squatters on people’s lands and others have become roadside mechanics. Meanwhile, the government promised them a permanent place of work;
3. heavy electricity bills are also forcing many artisans out of jobs; and
4. many craftsmen in the country have now turned into ‘trotro’ drivers and collectors, including women. Research shows that five artisans abandoned their work every day.
According to Mr Osei-Assibey, the above reasons and more have made artisanship in the country no longer attractive to the youth and if things remain unchanged in the next seven years, the country will lose its artisanship power.
The association said in its quest to give artisans in the country a permanent place to work, they have acquired over 300 acres of already-graded land and need the government’s support in terms of the provision of electricity, water and roads in the enclave to enable its members to move in and settle.