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General News of Friday, 26 August 2011

Source: Ghana Celebrities

Gov’t has failed us — UGAG


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UGAG today, 24th August 2012 held a news conference in Accra where it warned government that members of the association will soon hit the streets to protest if government fails to deliver on its promise to provide decent jobs for the many unemployed graduates in the country. This fresh warning comes in the wake of the fact that UGAG believes that the Mills-Mahama administration is doing practically nothing to provide jobs for its members.

Below is the association’s full statement. Read on: Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press:

Unemployed Graduates Association of Ghana (UGAG) is a non-partisan organisation which seeks to promote the well-being of all unemployed graduates in Ghana by bringing our predicament to the door-step of the powers that be, and to ensure that our life and image is given the needed attention. We have a registered membership of over 3,500 across the country. It is our affirmed aim to ensure that all unemployed graduates in Ghana become members so that the challenge of unemployment can be pursued cohesively for the betterment of our dear nation. It is with a sense of call to duty that we, the members of Unemployed Graduates Association of Ghana (UGAG) under the auspices of our mother body, Ghana Unemployed Youth Association (GUYA) organize this press Conference to reaffirm our position to the Government and the good people of Ghana as a follow up to our earlier call for Jobs to be created. After our recent call to hit the streets to demonstrate against the high rate of unemployment in the country, the government assured us that it was going to create avenues for the many unemployed youth in the country. We are disappointed to say here that, there has not been any signs of bringing hope to the thousands of unemployed graduates in the country; may be, they are yet to come. As a matter of fact we are keenly waiting for the jobs that are to be created for the benefit of UGAG members and the youth of Ghana at large. We believe that since the inception of the fourth republic, all governments have not considered the plight of the unemployed graduate as a serious systemic failure even though the youth constitute about 60% of the population.

Recently there have been many concerns about the increasing number of unemployed graduates in the country, at a time when the youth are supposed to be the ‘future of Ghana’. The plight of graduates in this country seems oblivious to many, who still claim they are not even aware of the huge number of graduates left jobless. Currently, there are many unemployed graduates who are going through several challenges. It is disappointing to note that some of our members have being duped in their search for jobs by bogus recruitment agencies, whiles the increasing high cost of living and the disgrace of relying on relatives for sustenance has forced a lot of them to lodge with friends because they can no longer contain family demands. It is really shocking that our lives have become bleak after spending 3 to 4 years at the various tertiary institutions. On daily basis, our members walk from one office to another all in search of unavailable jobs to the extent that our shoes are now deformed as a result of the undue walking. Similarly, our two shirts have also washed out as a result of the constant washing. We can no longer endure the pressure from our families who after spending on our education are still not getting any return from us, hence their decision not to continue spending on us.

Insufficiently, we are not doing anything meaningful for this country; our contribution to the society has been zilch. In the past, unemployment was within the ranks of only illiterates but today, it has affected J.S.S. and S.S.S., leavers. It is quite sad that Tertiary graduates are also vulnerable to this syndrome. This has contributed to the rapid influx of many youths from other parts of the country to the major cities like Kumasi, Takoradi and Accra. It is not astonishing that the nation is currently grappling with the unfortunate situation of Street hawkers, “Sakawa”, Prostitution, Armed robbery and other Social Vices which has contributed to overcrowding on the resources in the cities.

We wish to add force to the fact that government is the largest employer and it needs to act aptly by embarking on a massive job creation through the creation of enabling business environment across the country. Until this is done, any air-condition ivory-tower approach will not take us out of the pit. We demand action now! We hereby want to endorse our commitment to ensuring that the issue of unemployment is addressed, and caution our members to beware of people or organisations who approach them with intentions of buying their silence. What we need now are job opportunities, not empty promises which we have heard repeatedly in the past.

UGAG has in its operations so far assisted over 800 graduates through business advisory workshops, entrepreneurial skills, and research. We have organised seminars where we invited business men and women in the business industry to give lectures. We are currently planning to train more graduates to enable them get the required skills and be proactive. We believe that the knowledge we gain from our various tertiary institutions is not meant to get rotten in our minds, but rather to be effectively utilized for the advancement of the nation. It is very disappointing that little has been done in trying to empower the youth who are endowed with much energies to channel their energies into enterprise creation. We wish to state emphatically that, it behoves on government to empower young people by equipping them with skills, financial assistance as well as creating the enabling atmosphere for them to take hold of their future.

We are also calling on our members to remain calm but focused on our agenda, which is to impel government and all stakeholders to create meaningful jobs for the youth especially, the unemployed graduate. We are not surprised that some politicians as usual, are deceitfully trying to lure some of our members for their political

advantage and also use unruly measures to interrupt the activities of UGAG. We wish to emphasize here and now that, UGAG is a non-political interest group and our aim is quite clear to all. We shall accept nothing but JOBS and JOBS alone because we are dying!

In the meantime, we would also ensure that all our members develop themselves to the best of their abilities whiles we count on government and all stakeholders to create jobs and the enabling environment for job creation. We are giving government the shortest possible time to come up with tangible solutions to address the situation of unemployed graduates. We are understudying the situation and if the situation does not improve to our benefit, we are going to match a million unemployed graduates on the streets of Ghana to demonstrate heavily against the failure of government to provide us jobs and the atmosphere for job creation.

Thank you for your attention.

Spokespersons:

Justice Antwi (Acting President) - 0266-666939

Bernard Twum (Convener) - 0268-007832

Adi N. Lamisi (Secretary) - 020-1650514

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