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General News of Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Source: vanguard | ghananewshub.com

Ghc638 million GYEEDA cash for NDC footsoldiers

The governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) is set to blow a colossal amount of GH¢638.39 million this year on the new Youth Employment Agency (YEA) after squandering billions of Ghana cedis in the discredited Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA).

GYEEDA, which was meant to be a stop gap solution to the growing youth unemployment in the country, was hugely riddled with corruption involving some companies and individuals following a ministerial probe. Vanguard has in its possession, a confidential document detailing total number of beneficiaries, eight employment modules, annual salaries to beneficiaries, employer SSNIT contributions and tricycle/management fee/accoutrement/set up kits for beneficiaries, all totaling GH¢638,390,000.

The amount, the paper gathered, has been earmarked to cater mainly for NDC youth in five employment modules for a start and this has recently been confirmed with the formation of the party’s Business Development Committee to find jobs for its footsoldiers.

The confidential document was prepared ahead of the passing of the new YEA Act early this year in parliament, Youth Employment Agency Act, 2015 (Act 887) spearheaded by the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu.

It indicated that the Waste & Sanitation module will employ 45,000 people with each beneficiary expected to receive a monthly salary of GH¢300.00 whiles the service provider (company) takes home GH¢400.00 as service charge per person.

In this category, an amount of GH¢399.06 will be spent to cover salaries, 13 percent employer SSNIT contributions, management fees and training kits.

Three modules, Security Service module, paid internship and vacation jobs with the same conditions as all the modules, will employ 5,000 each and these would cost GH¢32.79 million, GH¢22.84 million, GH¢22,84 million respectively.

Community Education Teaching Assistants (CETA) and Health Extension Workers (HEW) will each employ 10,000 people, causing the state, a total amount of GH¢101.36 million.

The final categories, Youth in Agriculture and Agri-Business, and Trades and Vocation modules will each employ 20,000 individuals and total amount to be expended is GH¢60 million.

The government has been able to budget for the huge amount to carry out its political agenda at the time it has defaulted in statutory payments of over GH¢1 billion to the Districts Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETfund) and National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

It would be recalled that GYEEDA was halted after the programme was corruption-ridden as some officials handling the modules virtually robbed the state hundreds of millions of Ghana cedis, which could have been used to develop the country.

Following numerous scandals in the GYEEDA probe, government froze the programme, cancelled contracts with the indicted service providers and commenced processes leading to the new Agency known as YEA.

With a net freeze on employment in the public sector due to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) financial bailout, the ruling NDC is said to be finding surreptitious means of getting job opportunities for party foot-soldiers.

This is seen as a clandestine move to address unemployment among its rank and file ahead of the 2016 general election.

NDC Chairman Kofi Portuphy recently announced the formation of the Business Development Committee at the party’s $20 million headquarters in Adabraka, Accra, to create employment for party members who have been yearning for jobs.

Mr. Portuphy explained the committee will look at “available opportunities for our people, for ourselves, to create jobs in the private sector and possibly in the public sector as well for our people.”

According to him, “people are crying for jobs; we have a number of our people who have shown great initiative and have established a number of businesses and we can use their experiences to influence the creation of jobs for our party.”

He added that the creation of jobs for NDC members from the national level through to the constituency level had been of great concern to him. Mr. Portuphy believes the party’s employment strategy for its foot-soldiers “can empower them, we can strengthen them, both men and women so that they can earn an income and sustain the activities of our party; particularly, attending funerals, attending outdoorings, attending weddings, and many social activities.”

“We would like to see development particularly for our people,” he stressed.

The Business Development Committee was one of the numerous committees set up by the NDC to create some perceived unity among the top echelon of the party ahead of the 2016 elections.

The committees which were inaugurated included the political committee headed by President John Mahama, election committee, economic committee, social services committee, communication committee, disciplinary committee, complaints committee and the legal committee.

However, Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea told Citi FM the NDC’s policy of job creation was “mind-boggling” and in complete violation of the country’s Constitution and the governing party’s 2012 manifesto.

“There are over 1,000 things wrong with it… the constitution, even in the NDC manifesto and constitution, you will find out that they talk about anti-discrimination and I can’t believe that the ruling party will actually put forth this proposition before Ghanaians,” he said.

According to him, there were millions of unemployed Ghanaian youth who urgently needed jobs and as such if the NDC wanted to create jobs for every citizen irrespective of political affiliation, that would have been a “good trade, but why are we going to create it for only the NDC people?”

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