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Business News of Wednesday, 19 December 2018


GHC 21m released pay to Youth in Afforestation – Sir John

The Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, has told Citi News that some GH¢ 21 million has been disbursed today, Wednesday, December 19, to persons recruited onto the government’s Youth in Afforestation programme.

Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie has come under intense pressure from the beneficiaries who have registered their displeasure through series of protests since September 2018, over the non-payment of their allowances for several months.
Some of the beneficiaries are owed about 6 months’ allowances.

But in an interview with Citi News on the sidelines of the 2019 Performance Contract Signing Ceremony between State-Owned Enterprises and the government, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie said another GH¢ 21 million will be disbursed by Friday, December 21, to beneficiaries to clear all arrears owed them.

“I can report that confirming with the bank, the monies have been paid and there are few which are still in the process of being paid. The whole thing is a process. We admit that they are owed some monies. The first one is gone today, the next will start tomorrow and by 24th they would have received the other tranche.”

Sir John also suggested that those who had challenges with their payments may have inaccurate records with the Commission.

“All those whose records are okay and genuine, they will not have any challenges. We started paying them in April. For May, June and July we’ve paid. It is not as if we’ve paid them nothing at all. Now we’ve paid the August one. About 21 million has been disbursed. By Friday, another 21 million will go.”

This comes after over one hundred of the aggrieved beneficiaries on Tuesday besieged the premises of the Commission in protest of the delayed allowances.

That was not the first time they were embarking on such a protest as similar protests had been held in other regions in the country.

One of the beneficiaries told Citi News that, “We’ve not been paid for about 7 months up to now, and Sir John is going round telling radio and TV stations that we’ve been paid. We want him to go.”

Another beneficiary, who was visibly agitated over the matter said, “We are very frustrated. How can you work with people since July and you’ve not paid us. Anytime we come here, they don’t give us the listening ear.”

“Some even started as far as April and they have not even received 1 cedi,” another beneficiary said.

Other beneficiaries said they believe the Commission’s head is deliberately ignoring their concerns, and yet goes around boasting about employing many of them.