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Opinions of Friday, 8 March 2019

Columnist: Jeffery Bamsley

The new and better National Youth Authority

When Emmanuel Asigri and his two Deputies, Bright Acheampong and Rocky Obeng took over the running of the National Youth Authority (NYA), the place was in comatose. Nothing really happening and the place was dead for want of a better word.

An authority expected to champion youth development needed development and facelift itself. In just two years the ‘’Asigri’’ administration has done more than expected with it meager resources.

In 2017 the National Youth Authority was allocated an amount of Seventy-Six Million, Four Hundred and Five Thousand, One Hundred and Fifty-Three Ghana Cedis and Eighty-Two Pesewas(GH¢76,405,153.82) as its 5% share of the allocation of the District Assembly Common Fund.

Out of the GH¢76,405,153.82, the Authority received Thirty-One Million, Nine Thousand, Three Hundred and Eighty-Three Ghana Cedis and Seventy-Two Pesewas (31,009,383.72) as the first and second quarter allocations in 2017.

The rest of the amount, constituting Forty-Five Million, Three Hundred and Ninety-Five Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy Ghana Cedis and Ten Pesewas (GH¢45,395,770.10), was received as the third and fourth quarter allocations of 2017 in 2018.

Note that the Common Fund allocations are always released in quarterly arrears. This is how the management of the NYA spent the Funds allocated to the

Construction and Rehabilitation Works

Head Office Block: Aside painting that was done in 2014, the building had not seen any major rehabilitation works since 2004 and was bedeviled with serious structural defects, leakages and broken down washrooms and in the event was not fit for office purpose.

The Authority in 2017, contracted Architectural and Engineering Services Limited (AESL) to assess the structural integrity of the building based on which rehabilitation and furnishing works of the four(4) storey Office Building were carried out at a total cost of GH¢955,254.58.

Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institutes (YLSTI):

These structures were in deplorable state, construction works were done in the underlisted institutes with all part payments effected from 2017 allocation: These include the Sandema (Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institute), Upper East Region – A two unit girls dormitory block at a contract sum of GH¢1,087,805.69 and a 300 seating capacity dining hall/kitchen also at a contract sum of GH¢1,495,200.00 are under construction. Amounts so far paid for the dormitory block is GH¢511,658.66 whilst GH¢752,369.47 has also been paid for the dining hall/kitchen totaling an amount of GH¢1,264,028.13.

The second is the Nalerigu (Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institute), Northern Region, now North East Region - 300 seating capacity dining hall/kitchen, with a mechanized borehole and fencing of the girls’ dormitory are under construction. Amount so far paid for the dining hall/kitchen is GH¢679,774.80 out of a contract sum of GH¢1,495,200.00 whilst an amount of GH¢28,150.00 has been paid for the mechanized borehole.

We have the Takroase (Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institute) in the Eastern Region, the Ajumako Afranse (Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institute) in the Central Region, the Abura-Ahanta (Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institute) in the Western Region where is a construction of girls’ dormitory.

Amount so far paid is GH¢496,475.85 out of a contract sum of GH¢1,038,016.00.
Its also important to note that there were some arrears incurred by these Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institutes (YLSI).

Payment of arrears of seven (7) terms ( 2015-2017) feeding grant of the ten (10) Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institutes from third term 2015 to third term of 2017 at a total cost of GH¢2,558,970.00.

In a bid to inculcate ICT in the youth the NYA introduced the Youth in ICT Programme where over 2,900 Youth were registered in Online Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship Programme.

The essence of the training was to empower the youth to set up their own businesses using the online digital platform. The training was done in collaboration with the Ghana-India Kofi Annan ICT Centre, with the Centre drawing the training manual for the programme. The training took place in the then ten regions of the country. In all, 2400 young people passed out from the programme. The expenditures for the training are as follows:

i. Purchase of 2,900 Laptops at a unit cost of GH¢2,548.103 (Total cost of GH¢7,389,499.00). The laptops are kept at the National Youth Authority Head Office and the training locations.

ii. Development of Training Manual, Supervision and Certification/Training Cost/Rent of training venues for ten (10) different Consultants in all the 10 regions and Ghana-India Kofi Annan ICT Centre at a cost of GH¢7,644,592.49 for a period of 3 months.

iii. Purchase of 2,400 tablets as start-up tools for trainees of Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship Programme at a unit cost of GH¢886.3033 which includes insurance cost for one year and the cost of MTN data (Total cost was GH¢2,127,128.00). (2,400 tablets were purchased because some of the trainees dropped out whilst others did not participate in the mandatory assessment test by Kofi Annan ICT Centre.

Some activities the NYA participated in the year 2017.
1. International Youth Day Celebration-

1,000 youth from all the then 216 districts gathered at the Castle Gardens in Accra on 11th of August, 2017 to celebrate the Day. The Guest of Honour for the occasion was the Hon. Senior Minister. The cost for the programme was GH¢156,921.00 covering accommodation for those from outside Greater Accra, transportation and refreshment.

2. United Nations Volunteer Day Celebration:

This was a day’s celebration that was held at Kpone in the Greater Accra Region on 13th December, 2017 at a cost of GH¢13,451.00 covering transportation and refreshment.

3. African Union Youth Day Celebration:

The celebration was marked in the Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo, Upper-West, Eastern and Western Regions in November, 2017 at a total cost of GH¢124,540.00.

4. African Union Youth Volunteers Corp Training:

120 youth from 53 member states of the African Union were brought in for a training programe towards deployment for volunteering amongst member States. The programme was held at GIMPA from 4th -15th December, 2017 at a total cost of GH¢523,661.95.

5. Launch of the “Skills Towards Employment and Productivity” (STEP) Programme:

The programme was launched in Kumasi in collaboration with the Federation of Professional Trade Association of Ghana (FEPTAG). The objective was to sensitize and register young people towards skills acquisition. The Second Lady was the Guest of Honour for the occasion. The total cost of the programme was GH¢88,629.25 covering accommodation, exhibition and feeding of all participants including FEPTAG members from the then 10 regions of Ghana.

6. Monitoring and Evaluation:

The Authority also paid the statutory 5% of the total funds received to the Ministry of Youth and Sports for oversight monitoring and evaluation of the activities of the Authority. This amounted to GH¢3,809,312.41.

7. Purchase of Vehicles:

The Authority purchased four cross-country vehicles (2 Toyota V8 LandCruisers and 2 Toyota LandCruiser Prados) at a total cost of GH¢1,774,588.00.

8. Support to the Regional Secretariat:

A total cost of GH¢200,000.00 was utilized by the Authority to support the Regional Youth Offices for their administrative expenses.

9. Construction of the 10 Youth Resource Centres (PHASE 1):

A total amount of GH¢29,020,144.28 was paid by the Authority as first, second and third certificates for the construction of the 10 Youth Resource Centres. The facilities at the Centres include 5,000 seating capacity, FIFA standard football pitch, 8 lane running tracks, tennis courts, handball court, counseling centres, ICT centres, restaurants, entrepreneurship centres and gymnasiums.

Table 2: Breakdown of Youth Resource Centres by Region
Regions Contract Sum (GH¢) Amount Paid
(GH¢)
Greater Accra (Azumah Nelson Sports Complex) 6,121,215.70 4,405,125.20
Volta( Ho) 6,124,916.05 3,054,260.49
Eastern (Koforidua) 5,865,566.85 5,205,139.89
Northern (Yendi) 6,014,649.30 1,202,929.86
Western (Axim) 5,901,372.95 2,968,525.39
Ashanti (Nyinahin) 6,251,619.55 4,075,161.42
Upper East (Navrongo) 5,953,966.15 3,055,830.38
Upper West (Wa) 5,611,219.96 2,001,660.19
Brong Ahafo (Dormaa Ahenkro) 5,876,414.83 1,175,282.97
Central (Dunkwa-On- Offin 6,098,429.98 1,876,228.50
Total Amount 59,819,371.32 29,020,144.29

Sorry for bothering you with all these figues but the facts needs to be stated cleared.

Finally the Review of the National Youth Policy:

The current National Youth Policy document was launched in 2010 and its implementation plan was launched in 2014. As part of efforts to review the Policy, an amount of GH¢77,941.00 was spent out of the 2017 budget to kick-start the review process.

From the above mentioned one can say that the administration of Emmanule Asigri has been nothing but transparent and consented effort to delivering the mandate given him by President Akufo Addo.