General News of Saturday, 26 April 2014
Ghana Integrity Initiative Chief, Vitus Azeem, has backed Thursday’s Presidential order to the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) to withdraw adverts inviting bids to manage the youth employment agency’s ICT module.
But, he said, President John Dramani Mahama must go beyond merely ordering a “withdrawal” of the adverts and punish the GYEEDA officials who authorized the publication.
Authorities at GYEEDA recently placed adverts in the media, requesting for bids to run the agency’s ICT module.
The move provoked public outcry. Pressure group, Mass Action Committee, issued a press statement calling for the immediate withdrawal of the adverts.
Early Thursday, both the Member of Parliament for Obuasi West, Kweku Kwarteng, and Vitus Azeem of the Ghana Integrity Initiative, backed public calls for the adverts to be withdrawn.
Late Thursday, the Office of the President issued a statement ordering GYEEDA to withdraw the adverts.
“The Office of the President has reiterated that all directives on GYEEDA remain in force,” the statement, signed by Information and Media Relations Minister, Mahama Ayariga, said. “The request for proposals to implement an ICT model presently being advertised by GYEEDA is therefore without authorization and should be withdrawn.”
In a CitiNews interview, Mr. Azeem welcomed the presidential order, but said serious sanctions must follow.
“How come that somebody decided to put adverts in the newspapers? The President gave instructions that there should be a hold on it; so somebody will have to explain why he or she decided to disregard the Presidents directive and went ahead to place adverts in the newspapers,” he said.
Spokesperson for the Mass Action Committee, Atik Mohammed, also backed the Presidential order.
He said, “The Mass Action Committee expresses its sincerest gratitude to His Excellency John Dramani Mahama and his outfit for the prompt manner in which they have responded to our request made on Tuesday 22nd April, 2014… to retract the advert placed in the Daily Graphic.
He said the Presidential order shows “the President’s commitment and belief in GYEEDA’s success and sustainability still remain unshaken”.
He added, “We are also excited to note that, not only did the Office of the President order the cancellation of the said advert, it also admonished GYEEDA to stay focused and dedicated to the Action Plan aimed at tackling the structural, institutional and legal weaknesses of GYEEDA...”
He added, “…We also wish to assure the President and the GYEEDA leadership that we will continue to lend them support in every way we can, throughout this journey of GYEEDA’s revival.”
In 2013, a wave of financial scandals triggered a government investigation into the activities of GYEEDA.
The investigations found evidence of corruption and massive misuse of public funds under the programme, compelling President Mahama to order a freeze on GYEEDA’s operations. The President also ordered a complete overhaul of GYEEDA’s operations.