GYEEDA Bill In Trouble
A draft bill expected to regulate the operation of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) programme is facing challenges in Parliament regarding issues surrounding the source of funding for the programme, DAILY GUIDE has learnt.
The bill—currently with the Youth and Employment Committees of Parliament—when passed into law, would restructure the scandal-laden GYEEDA and provide for the establishment of a Youth Employment Fund which is intended to support youth development through skills training and internship.
The sources of funding for the programme include moneys approved by Parliament, 15% of monies accruing to the District Assembly Common Fund, 10% of moneys accruing to the National Health Insurance Scheme and 5% of monies accruing to the Ghana Education Trust Fund as well as 60% of Talk Tax, among others.
Payments to these statutory funds are already in arrears for over one year now.
But DAILY GUIDE has gathered that some of the selected government institutions, which will be funding GYEEDA, are reluctant to support the scheme for lack of consultation as well as lack of accountability. They also claimed they were cash-strapped.
The issues became manifest when the two parliamentary committees were critically examining the bill.
The Acting Coordinator of the programme, Kobby Akyeampong, who had wanted to smuggle in service providers when the restructuring process had not been completed, could not defend the bill when challenged by the committee members, particularly on funding, knowing that the areas enumerated are not sustainable.
In the opinion of some members, there was no need to be hasty about the bill, but rather a wider consultation should take place with stakeholders, particularly youth groups and service providers under the programme, since they are conversant with the terrain.
Last year, President Mahama ordered a complete overhaul of GYEEDA's operations after investigations revealed massive corruption and misuse of public funds.
He indicated that a Youth Employment Agency Bill would be established to ensure proper oversight and efficiency in the management of GYEEDA, previously known as the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP).
By Cephas Larbi