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General News of Saturday, 5 May 2018


NABCO risks destabilizing economy, causing inflation – Bentil

Vice President of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, Kofi Bentil, has joined critics of the recently launched Nation Builders’ Corps (NABCO), convinced that the programme that government believes will tackle youth unemployment is to a large extent political gimmick.

NABCO was launched on May 1 by President Akufo-Addo to address graduate unemployment in Ghana, but opinions about the programme have been sharply divided.

The main strategy, according to government is to engage 100,000 unemployed graduates and equip them with skills through a process of value addition and training under seven modules: Educate Ghana, Heal Ghana, Feed Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Digitize Ghana, Civic Ghana and Enterprise Ghana.

While some comments have lauded the initiative as demonstrating government’s commitment to solving the unyielding problem of youth employment, others hold a contrary view.

Counter opinions suggest the initiative is instead a demonstration of the government’s lack of focus. Many believe that NABCO is not different from the objectives of the Youth Employment Authority (YEA), another programme that is funded to facilitate youth employment nationwide.

Presenting his views on the recently launched programme on MultiTV/Joy FM’s Newsfile on Saturday, Mr Bentil also said instead of creating a separate programme, the government should have “just taken [NABCO] and slammed it straight into the YEA.”

He also gave a comprehensive assessment of NABCO and concludes that just like other initiatives that have been set up by previous governments, the current programme is bad for the economy.

“A year from now, we will come to analyse the successes or failure of [NABCO]. In this country, we have had more than ten of these efforts: we’ve had GYEEDA, we’ve had NYEP becoming now YEA, we’ve had LESDEP, YESDEC, we’ve had YESP, we’ve had GEBSS, YCCES, we’ve had Youth in Agricultural Programme…none of these have anything to show. Point me one major success story.

"And when you calculate the nine years of these programmes and the tens and millions of dollars that we’ve spent on these things, you will come to appreciate what I say when I say it is a political programme intended to show that the present government, or whichever government, is in power is doing something about the problem. My worry is whether we are going to get value for money. And my other worry is the potential negative effects of some of these programmes. The first problem is inflation. You will destabilise your macroeconomic stability when you pump so much money behind unproductive activity. I worry about that,” he said on Newsfile.