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27.03.2006 General News

No seed money for STEP graduates in Bolga

By GNA

Bolgatanga, March 27, GNA - The Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment has not provided any seed money for graduates, who underwent the Skills Training and Employment Placement (STEP) programme in the Bolgatanga Municipality.

Mr Bernard Bananzi, Head of Community Care at the Department of Social Welfare in the Upper East Region, announced this in Bolgatanga on Monday.

The 2003 and 2004 batches of the STEP programme had reported him to the Bolgatanga Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Isaac Nsoh Amoah, for allegedly failing to provide them with seed money to start operating on their own.

Mr Bananzi, whose outfit is responsible for the training, explained that the Ministry of Manpower, Youth And Employment only provided money for the training but without any seed money or capital. He indicated that his outfit pleaded for time to enable it to lobby the district assemblies and NGOs to mobilise resources, as seed capital for the trainees but they could not wait.

Later, a release signed by Mr Richard Asaa and Mr Roland Akolgo, Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively of the 57-member batch, who passed out in 2003 and 2004, indicated that trainees, who underwent the STEP programme in other districts of the region were given seed money and were already in full operation, citing the Bawku and the Navrongo districts as examples.

The release appealed to the Ministry of Manpower, Youth And Employment, Department of Social Welfare and other cooperate agencies to help investigate the case and relieve the trainees of their plight. It noted that the laudable idea of the STEP programme could become meaningless, if the graduates were not provided with the necessary seed capital to enable them set up businesses.

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