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Politics of Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Source: The Ghanaian Observer

NPP guru unmasks GYEEDA report

Onetime Minister for Manpower, Youth & Employment and ex-New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament for Salaga Constituency in the Northern Region, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique, has poured cold water on the serialized controversial Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development (GYEEDA) ministerial report which sort to indict some former ministers for not showing leadership under the programme.

According to the former minister, who was one of the major brains behind the setting up of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) under President Kufuor’s administration, certain aspects of the report of the ministerial committee commissioned by the Minister for Youth and Sports, Mr Elvis Afriyie –Ankrah, is far from the truth.

The report mentioned the following past Ministers: Mr. Kofi Adda, Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, Nana Akomea, Muntaka Mohamed, Akua Sena Dansua and Mr. Kofi Humado as having failed to provide good leadership for the programme during their various tenures.

However, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique has challenged the committee to provide prove of that aspect of their findings, stressing that good leadership was provided in terms of safeguarding public funds and contracts under NYEP during his time.

He noted that it was out of place for the ministerial committee to suggest that all the aforementioned Ministers failed to provide leadership for the success of the programme.

In an exclusive interview with this paper over the weekend, the former NPP Minister stated that there was a document prepared at the Ministry by name Ghana Youth: “Working to Build Our Future –Youth Employment Implementation Guidelines”, which contained all the needed guidelines for the modules rolled out under the then NYEP.

He said the fifty-page document with more than ten appendixes was prepared by the then sector Minister, Kofi Adda, in seven chapters, and it spelt out the background, purpose, structure as well as the guiding principles, standard and requirements for the programme.

“It was upon these guiding principles and financial management contained in the chapters that I set up the National Taskforce, National Monitoring and Evaluation Team as well as the Internal Control System to guide the programme across the country,” he said.

The ex-Minister, who later became the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing before the New Patriotic Party (NPP) exited power in 2009, maintained that for the ministerial committee to conclude that “we never provided any leadership was out of place”.

He posited that the committee in carrying out its exercise should have contacted all the individuals mentioned in its draft report since “we are all alive’.

He opined that the ministerial committee cannot decide and conjecture the roles that “some of us played in making the programme a reality’’.

“I therefore beg to differ from the observations of the ministerial committee, even before I was reshuffled to the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing; I prepared a handing over note to my successor, Nana Akomea”, he charged.

He reminded the members of the ministerial committee that to get the programme running and to safeguard the public accounts, the Ministry under his leadership introduced the Identification Card and Coding System for every beneficiary.

“I also requested that every beneficiary opens a bank account as part of the measures to prevent financial leakages in the system. So for a committee of such caliber to conclude that I never provided any leadership in the running of the programme is misplaced”, he contended.