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20.12.2006 Politics

No excuse for being unemployed

By Statesman
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Manpower Development and Employment Minister, Abubakar Saddique Boniface says there is very little reason for any fit Ghanaian to stay jobless after the introduction of the National Youth Employment Programme.

"It is now time to create and provide jobs for the teeming unemployed and under-employed and we are doing just that. In fact, I don't see why some should be on the street when we can find jobs for them', the Statesman newspaper quotes the MP as saying.

Describing the NYEP initiative as the best legacy of the Kufuor administration, the Minister challenged anybody who disputed the reality and achievements of the programme to reach the Ministry and its agencies for verification.

According to the Minister who is also MP for Salaga, the programme aims to provide 175 000 jobs in a cycle year, but since it was launched in October this year, it has already registered more than 78,000 jobs.

'This is not a public relations programme; it is a legacy we are leaving for the youth of this country and it will certainly serve as a benchmark for successive regimes,' he assured.

The Statesman said opinions it polled among the unemployed in Accra about the National Youth Employment Programme were mixed. While some said they had never heard of the programme since 2001 when they first registered for jobs in compliance with government directives, others said it was another political gimmick and that they would not bother to enquire of it.

Graham Owusu Sakyi, 33, a fresh unemployed university graduate told the paper that he had heard of the NYEP and had not bothered to follow up, but he intended to apply to the programme after Christmas.

Osei Bonsu 31, Yaw Seth 25 and Sammy Ankrah 32, all unemployed were excited to hear of the existence of such a programme designed for them and promised to apply for the programme by the close of the week.

Even though Nana, 19 and Samuel Boateng were some of those who were optimistic, they did however say, 'We shall apply and see what happens'.

The former Deputy Trade Minister maintained that 'nobody should doubt this programme; it is a national legacy we are leaving and we will prove to the doubting Thomases that we are setting a benchmark'.

'We are creating a diversification for people to identify their potential to fix into the opportunities created, in fact let them make their independent choices and we'll surely find them jobs', he boasted.

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