Don’t Make NABCO Unemployment Benefit For Unemployed Graduates
The NPP Government in most times tries to actualize some of the programmes and policies it promised Ghanaians but of course not without challenges here and there. The challenges come about as a result of not so clear blue print regarding implementation and other related issues. This lack of clarity most of the time is the genesis of the fallouts and consequently tend to cast doubt in the viability or otherwise of such social interventions. The introduction of the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) may not be anything different.
Under the directives principles of state policy in chapter six of the 1992 Constitution, creation of jobs and employment is a function of a Government and any efforts by government to create jobs/employment for its people can only be commended but not seen as something exceptional, we therefore wish to commend the government for the introduction of NabCo but wish to issue a word of caution that government should ensure that there are indeed jobs before they are posted to their duty posts.
[Our worry at the moment is where exactly these recruit are going to be posted to and why their appointment letters should be given them stating the amount to be paid and when payment of promised allowance will be paid and yet exact duty post and job designation is not known.
Despite the IMF ban on employment since 2010 many government institutions, agencies and corporations among others still have issues of over staffing and there is no recent adverts calling for employment from any Governments work place and make us wonder if there are vacancies for these Nabco recruits.]
It will not make economic sense to doll out GHC 700.00 to 100,000 recruits for no work done. There is the serious need for those who will have the mandate to oversee the activities of these NaBCo recruits to strive hard to ensure that there is sufficient prove of value for money from the works of these recruits. Like the president of the Republic rightly put it; “they must work for what they will earn”. Our concern is also about the total cost of the intervention to the Ghanaian tax payer which the president quoted during the passing out ceremony of the recruits at the Independence Square in Accra as 3 billion Ghana Cedis. On the face of it, the amount to be spent on the recruits during the three year period will far exceed what the president quoted. That is simply multiplying 700 by 100,000 and then multiplying it consequently by thirty-six months (36). We are very much aware that those going to the private sector will have the GHC 700.00 paid to them only for the first year. Fifty percent of the said amount will be paid by government during the second year and nothing at all will be paid during the third year. However, the exact numbers going to the private sector are not known. We would, therefore like to call on government to come out clearly with the numbers and the calculations in the spirit of transparency and information flow.
The programme implementers should also note that not all these Nabco recruits were jobless; some were working for less than Ghc 700.00. And to such recruits the Ghc 700.00 is on the high side and therefore most work to earn such money but not as a modified form of unemployment benefits.
We further call for strict monitoring and supervision of these recruits since the possibility is there that some of them may actually have been already engaged somewhere but may like to have their names on NaBCo payroll and be withdrawing their stipend with the connivance of some NaBCo officials. There should be more commitment in action to protect the public purse by ensuring that all loopholes are sealed to prevent any official of the programme who may want to outwit the system to find it impossible or really tough. We shall be monitoring how things unfold in the coming days, weeks, months and years. It is our prayer that the programme succeeds.
Felix Djan Foh.
James Kweku Dumenyah