To begin with, I would like to use this opportunity to first of all congratulate and recommend His Excellency President Nana Akuffo Addo for this laudable and thoughtful national initiative/policy. To have the unemployed at heart by bringing up a policy to reduce unemployment and hardship is very appreciative but questions arise when issues of sustainability and efficiency in allocation are raised. What is required now and the future is a policy efficient enough of properly allocating available national skilled labor resources and not just any policy meant to attract applause and political fame. Such a move is quite detrimental, flummoxing and very bemusing. This isn’t the first time the nation is being introduced to such initiatives/policies. In the year 2006 under the presidency and governance of Ex-President John Agyekum Kufour, the Youth Employment Program was introduced which sort to absorb graduates and unemployed Ghanaians into the field of agriculture, education, health and sanitation etc. This program was only sustainable within the political lifespan of John Agyekum’s administration and however collapsed after his tenure.
Also, in the year 2014, under the political administration of Ex-President John Dramani Mahama, an amount of GHC10 million Ghana Cedis was set aside to invest in the Youth Enterprise Support (YES). The main idea behind this initiative was to generate jobs and facilitate youth development in the country through innovative ideas and entrepreneurship. Personally, I think this was also a laudable idea which couldn’t stand the test of time because of political pressures and widespread corruption within the incumbency at that period. The above mentioned programs if were properly structured and administered and if they had legal backing and support could have being the future to the country’s economic progress through streamlining/channeling available resources (Labor) and ensuring effective allocation for our greater good.
All the programs couldn’t do much because of poor planning and forecasting and I don’t see NABCO doing anything different from the above policies previously initiated. For now, government has allocated $100 million US Dollars to absorb 100,000 applicants in this new NABCO policy but statisticians argue that, the government would need more than $200 million US Dollars to ensure the policy becomes sustainable over the 3 year contract period and that is according to Peter Bismark, the executive director of the Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI-Ghana).
The simplest question is, what happens to the contract NABCO employees after the 3 year period had being exhausted? What is the government’s source of funds for the sustainability of NABCO on year to year basis? Has any proper forecasting taken place to ascertain the output/contributions of these employed staffs in the various sectors NABCO has considered absorbing employees to? Will their contribution to national output outweigh the cost of employing them? The $100 million US Dollars invested into NABCO could have being channeled into the agriculture sector which could have gone a long way in affecting positively employment, exports, balance of payment, the nation’s GDP and foreign exchange. On the other hand, if this $100 million Dollars were to be invested in revamping Nkrumah’s abandoned industries could have gone a long way in ensuring a sustainable and good paying jobs for a section of Ghanaians rather than the current option graduates have being persuaded to embrace because of the unavailability of jobs and economic hardship inherited from preceding administration. However, in this administration’s anxiety to turn things around by implementing good policies and initiatives, we only are optimistic for a brighter future for this nation and I hope we all support a good course for the greater good of this nation.
Writer: Emmanuel De-Graft Quarshie