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General News of Friday, 17 January 2014

Source: myjoyonline.com

Kufuor's gov’t signed many of GYEEDA's careless contracts – Murtala

About 90 per cent of shoddy contracts cancelled under the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency (GYEEDA) were signed by the Kufuor-led administration, government has revealed.

The cancellation follows a huge public outcry over financial impropriety and malfeasance on the part of the companies after Joy News uncovered rot under the programme and confirmed by a subsequent investigation by government.

Speaking on Joy FM's Top Story on Wednesday, Deputy Information Minister, Murtala Mohammed, underscored: "all the contracts that the NYEP now GYEEDA entered into, the new programmes that were rolled out, your (Joy FM's) own journalist, who indeed came out with this story, and if you look at the allegations that are levelled against these service providers, I can tell you that almost 90 per cent of those allegations are levelled against service providers, whose contracts were initiated by the NPP."

He explained that hitherto, the NDC government continued with the contracts because they were social intervention programmes, which it felt were good for the country.

The contracts that have been cancelled include Rlg Communication's training module, Asongtaba Cottage Industry & Exchange Programme (ACI&EP) and the Better Ghana Management Services Limited, a subsidiary of Jospong Group, the parent company of Zoomlion.

The Deputy Minister was responding to a press conference by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) that the economy has worsened during President Mahama’s first year in office.

Churning out statistics to back their claims, leaders of the NPP took turns to paint a grim picture of the economy under President Mahama.

The NPP cited an increase in VAT, overspending by government to about 9 billion Ghana Cedis, and an increase in fees and levies.

Minority spokesperson on finance, Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, says cost of living in 2013 was very high for the average Ghanaian.

In his rebuttal, Murtala Mohammed blamed the challenges that government faced in 2013 on the 2012 presidential election petition.

According to him, the eight-month-long court case was needless because it had a "tremendous effect" on the economy of the country. He cited the sharp depreciation of the cedi as a case in point.

"This government has indicated clearly that we have some challenges in this economy, we haven't shied away from that. But this challenges can never be looked in isolation without looking at the unnecessary court case the NPP took the people of this country through... it is also true that we have independent organisations, some of whom are very critical of government", the deputy information minister noted, indicating that "the court case has actually affected the economy of Ghana."

Murtala Mohammed reiterated that the government has put in measures to address the challenges militating against Ghana's development.

He also accused the NPP of shirking its responsibility to provide alternative solution to problems in the country. "They (NPP) have not provided a single alternative; what they simply do is to attack," he asserted.

But this assertion was countered by Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, who insisted that the NPP has been giving alternative solutions to Ghana's problems from the onset, stressing that government is fond of faulting the NPP, when it is not doing well in its administration of the country.

He, therefore, warned that in the absence of a substantial intervention from the government and should it stick to the 2014 budget statement, Ghanaians are bound to face similar challenges they encountered in 2013.

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