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General News of Saturday, 18 January 2014

Source: myjoyonline.com

There were criminal elements in GYEEDA contracts - Ayariga

Information and Media Relations Minister Mahama Ayariga has admitted "criminal elements" attended operations of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) but stopped short of saying when the suspects will be prosecuted.

Speaking on Joy FM and Multi TV's news analysis programme Newsfile, the minister said people "fraudulently opened accounts and siphoned monies into it" adding such "people will soon be prosecuted."

His comments follow the president's directive for some contracts of some service providers under the GYEEDA programme to be cancelled.

Five contracts, including the RLG and those to the Jospong Group of companies were terminated following the president's directive.

Mahama Ayariga noted the GYEEDA programme had been inundated with systemic challenges because there were "no proper legal framework" for the programme.

He said the government is fully committed to addressing the challenges bedevilling the programme, but will not be stampeded into taking hasty decisions.

The minister said it took several months for the Economic and Organized Crimes Office to conduct its own investigations into the matter and will soon be heading to court to prosecute offenders.

Ayariga maintained that the government is also taking a second look at some of the modules in a manner not to "throw the baby away with bad water."

A Member of Parliament with the NPP who was also on the show, Dr Mark Assibey-Yeboah applauded the president for cancelling the contracts.

He added however that government must go a step further in retrieving monies and prosecuting officials who superintended over the programme.

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